Town to let

One thing that has really struck me again as I walked around Salisbury is just how many shops are closed or in the process of closing. A few weeks ago I went for a walk around town taking photographs of the closed shops. I must admit, I did feel quite self-conscious taking shots of empty shop windows in the middle of the day! But, at the time I felt that it was important to document and record the sheer number of shops falling into disuse in the town.

The shot below is of La Mollina, which closed yesterday. It’s really sad to see a local business go under. However, Fish Row is fast becoming the ‘to let’ capital of Salisbury. Part of me thinks in terms of businesses it’s more like death row. It’s a shame as the street is certainly one of the nicest areas of the centre. I noticed that on the upstairs window of the Forever England shop there is a ‘to let’ sign. Either the shop is moving or going, who knows?

I wrote a post a few weeks ago titled clone town. If you read what the owner of La Mollina wrote on the photo below, it’s proof of the point I made then about identikit ruling the roost. I haven’t lived in the area long enough to know the history of the town in terms of shops, but I can’t help feeling that whoever is making decisions about developing the centre is getting it badly wrong.

I think what I might do is get out early for a few mornings and photograph the closed shops. The state that some are left in; the unopened mail piling up near the letter boxes; the discarded items inside, like chairs, heaters, cooking equipment etc. tell us a story about loss and failure. The shops are a sad testimony to the business phrase ‘adapt or die’…

La Mollina
La Mollina Tapas Bar on Fish Row, Salisbury

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