Bath is beginning to make me feel claustrophobic. No l don’t mean that being in a dank, dark bowl of a physical landscape is giving me the jitters – l am referring to the amount of scaffolding and boarded-up shop and store windows in the cityscape.
Behind a giant frame of metal rods and fancy hoardings the Roman Baths and Pump Room exteriors are getting a major low-season winter make-over. I do understand that vital new roofing and restoration/conservation is underway – but it doesn’t help to watch workmen also busy boarding-up the former BHS store just across Stall Street.
Here – l suppose – we are witnessing a commercial pupation stage between the old business and a new Primark ‘butterfly’ – but who knows how long the boarding will remain.
Elsewhere the old Habitat store is still plywood-bound in the middle of its commercial metamorphosis and – sprinkled around the inner city – other more modest businesses have disappeared behind individual and poignant shrouds of retail remorse.
May the spring of business renewal and High Street vibrancy return soon!