The Big Eye - Don’t forget the others
Bought any fuel lately?Expensive isn’t it? Apart from the taxman holding us to ransome in our rural isolation there’s probably another good reason why you’ll pay through the nose for every litre and that is because petrol companies have decided that car drivers are all but ready for a white stick and a dog in a day-glo harness.
They’ve determined that the only way you’ll ever spot their smelly,dirty, fuel pumps is if they erect signs so large and expensive that they are unavoidable. It’s a competitive sport that you pay for.
As soon as Bloggo Fuel tarts up their fuel pumps and puts up a whopping great metal sign you’ll see Splutter Oil going one better and build an even bigger monstrosity. It is just me who wonders why nobody even tries to stop them defacing our landscape?
Do you not find them offensive, intrusive and pointless? I guess we’re becoming used to seeing massive lumps of plastic and chrome appearing in our streets or looming like a glittering oasis in the middle of the countryside, miles from anywhere?
I hate them, I hate the way nobody from our planning departments seems to want to curb their relentless march. Slowly, little by little, we are turning into a cheap, half-hearted version of America.
It isn’t just petrol forecourts that are being turned into shimmering shrines to consumerism. Anyone driving on to the Hardwick roundabout cannot fail to ignore the massive orange signs atop what appears to be either a swimming pool complex or a car showroom that has sprung up where the concrete ‘Frigo’ shed used to be. I know it’s a supermarket! And now their famous logo glows like an eternal sunset on the horizon, everybody else does too.
You can’t escape it. Visible from at least a quarter of a mile away this wart on the landscape has all the subtlety of a Strictly finale! Across the road on the other side of Ambush Alley we have another giant retailer preparing to do battle with these upstarts and you can bet before long they’ll be turning night into day as even larger signs will be craned into position on the roof of their new offering to us. These signs will be designed to outshine the orange ones and will probably be large enough to be seen from outer space. If it wasn’t so damned ugly and horrible it would be funny. . . but nobody’s laughing are they?
It’s a serious business, this effort to capture your attention and get you into their Aladdin’s cave of wonders. By all means, make a special trip to see what’s on offer but try and remember the rest of the town and the locals struggling to make a living there.
No doubt the mega signs will have their desired effect and everyone will troop through their doors for more crisps and nappies tuppence cheaper than the competition but as soon as the Hollywood sized signs go up across the road you’ll be tempted there I presume?
The game goes on and the net result will be a cheapened and diminished skyline for Lynn, a diminished offer from the High Street and slowly Lynn will turn itself inside out and ‘life’ will be on the outskirts whilst the centre becomes a downmarket unloved precinct.
A sign of the times you could say. And what are the so-called town managers and planners doing to help stop this? I wonder.
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Weather for King's Lynn
Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 17 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 6 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 21 mph
Wind direction: North