Readers of this column will know that every now and then, Buttercross takes a walk around the town centre to see how we are presenting ourselves, especially to visitors and holidaymakers.
It is often stated that first impressions are important and although we all treasure our town we also know that there are often things, which may be small in themselves but, put together, become bigger issues and then influence greatly what others may think of us.
Starting with the Buttercross (where else!) it is good to know that “ Alf woz ere”, as indicated on one pillar. Alf left his mark some considerable time ago, but unfortunately we are still reminded of his visit.
Moving across to the Norwich direction bus stop, there on the adjacent wall is a small Christmas tree of considerable age, complete with lights.
Many have wondered why the Breckland contractors responsible for waste bins around town have not realised that the polythene bin liners take off like hot air balloons in windy weather. The upshot is that lighter waste is thrown out onto the ground, as happened on my walk, when a half-eaten sausage roll was certainly the star attraction. Surely this cannot be too big a problem to sort out?
The shelter for buses going to Lynn is in a disgusting state with dirty panels, obscene graffiti and weedy Tarmac. This is such a well used area by many people and should “shine”. As it is, it remains a poor advert for our town and anyone else having responsibility for its state. While mentioning weeds, there have been several comments on social media sites about the weeds growing around many shop fronts. Similarly, discharging rainwater pipes are mostly blocked. These are not difficult problems to solve but shopkeepers must be made aware of their responsibilities here. Surely our council can bring pressure to bear.
Over time the Plowright Place shopping precinct has come in for considerable criticism – it is heartening to now see it is being upgraded. May it prosper and grow.
It was never the intention of these articles to criticise the condition of our town centre but more to question why we are so poor at maintaining it in the best possible condition. It falls to all of us, and our councillors especially, to get the best of our town on a day-to-day basis, a task that surely we all wish to embrace.
There may be other such trees elsewhere but surely they should have been removed by now ? They are not they best advert for our town.