Buttercross: Swaffham Market Place is looking brighter

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Now and again comment is made on the ongoing condition of our town.

Our Assembly Rooms now appear far brighter following the recent freshen-up. The building is in good hands and the northern side of the market square looks the best it has for sometime, with the bonus of having the next door shop smartened up and open. Nearby, the Market Cross always looks well cared for and remains popular and well used.

On the south/east corner of the area, we have Westgate House at the entrance to the Pyghtle. Not before time, extensive work is now being carried out here, as it has been for several months now.

A remark made recently suggested the Egyptian pyramids must have taken less time to build but, nevertheless, progress is being made.

The scaffolding stands as a reminder of the fire that took hold of the fish and chip shop on the west side of the square. It appears that all the high level investigative work has now been completed and we can only hope total reinstatement will follow shortly.

To the north, the King’s Arms restoration moves on a pace and the building now looks something like many of us remember it years ago. Comments have also been made about the standard of some reinstatement work around the market place.

There are areas where paving flags and bricks have been taken up only to be eventually replaced by black tarmacadam which stands out like a sore thumb and is very unappealing. Efforts should have been made to have the final reinstatements made with comparable materials and no doubt it was the contractors’ duty to do that.

The railings on “Gould’s Corner” have once again been hit by passing traffic. Perhaps someone will soon realise it might be more financially beneficial, and certainly safer for the public, to erect a more appropriate style of railing here.

Moving off the Market Place to the entrance to Prince’s Street there stands a building plot, the untidy state of which has been complained about for sometime. If healthy thistles were a marketable crop there was a fortune to be made here. Thistle seeds have now spread far and wide, ensuring that gardens in the area may have a similar and unwelcome crop next year.

It is noted that some 55 new homes are likely to be built on Sporle Road going out of town. Comment has been made previously about our town getting wider, but what is not good news is the fact that we are packing more and more people into our town and there must be concern about the adequacy of supporting services.

Unfortunately, providing more facilities ahead of new arrivals does not make economic sense, especially when new arrivals filter in over time.

Conversely, if new arrivals arrive in town ahead of these added services, we all experience difficulties. Not an easy problem to find an acceptable solution to, but we all know which will be followed.