Monday, 21 December 2009

Woolies Indoor Market, Bristol

Something strange and interesting has happened on Whiteladies Road (actually, a number of strange things, possibly good things, have happened on the whole stretch of the A4018 in Bristol! We'll go into those in a bit.)

This week I went to look at the old Woolworths store on Blackboy Hill. They've turned it into an indoor market! Although the shopfront is deceptively boring, and the ground floor as well, for that matter, I have no doubt in believing that this is a positive contribution to the retail at the upper end of Whiteladies Road.

I spoke with the manager a little, she was a nice lady and was talking to a contractor or plumber (I assume), and she said that it had been open for about 6 weeks now. Here's a few pics of the downstairs:

Frankly, I thought it was rather bland and generic, and lacked variation as all the stalls looked too unique and temporary. The upstairs, however, were a whole lot better.

El got a vintage coat, too!:

Overall, I like it. The upstairs is wonderful, and the far end of the hall is empty, so hopefully they'll get someone in. I love the fact that the floorboards and ceiling beams are exposed rather than covered up like downstairs. The downstairs just doesn't have the cultural/industrial charm the upstairs has, and I'm not sure the window arrangement of the previous occupier is best suited, but I assume there are reasons (e.g. easier to get planning permissiong leaving as-is.)

Other changes on the A4018: (most are recent! i.e. last 2 months or so!)
- New lane arrangement at Blackboy Hill outside the bicycle/wedding dress shop. (possibly good? it definitely caters for cyclists better!)
- Borders is closing (and I managed to buy a US magazine for 90p instead of £4.50!)
- Paperchase has moved two stores along from Borders (not checked it out yet)
- Between Borders and Paperchase is the Vinegar Hill shop (previously the Alldays/Co-op/Post Office, the shop is wonderful, think Cath Kidston, but less pink and red and more white, and slightly more practical. A cross between the Guild and Cath Kidston, I s'pose)
- Slightly older, but other new businesses on the Clifton Triangle include the new office building at the top of Jacobs Wells Road, Patisserie Valerie and Waitrose opening up.

No idea what the last few months is about, but the changes seem quite frequent, can only assume the current financial climate has something to do with it (not necessarily in a bad way or a bad result!)

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