Jayne and I went to Waterlooville today to visit Chas and see how he is settling into married life and see his new house.
In some ways it seems like a nice enough place, but it has one of the most depressed and depressing Town centres I have ever seen. The population of the town is about two-thirds the population of Crawley, but you wouldn’t know it. You can see lots of new housing development all around, but the town centre itself was like a ghost town. It is mostly pedestrianised, but empty of people. And this was on a Saturday afternoon.
It reminded me a lot of Horley town centre, but larger and with fewer people. The local council have obviously tried to make it friendly to shoppers, with plenty of benches and bins and so on, but the shops and buildings look tired and a lot of the people there seemd to be hanging out or passing through rather than shopping. I think it maybe suffers from the proximity of Portsmouth, just a couple of stops down the motorway, but whatever the reason, it makes spending time there a very depressing experience.
The only busy place was the Wetherspoons pub we went into for lunch, but that was even more depressing. The food was OK and cheap, but all the tables were uncleared and uncleaned. We went for one that was merely piled up with loads of menus rather than plates, but the fact this was the most popular premises in the town centre says a lot about Waterlooville. Ashame really, bcause it could easily be a nice place. Instead it is just a nice place to live, but for shopping, eating out and entertainment you just take advantage of its proximity to better places.