On the left is the rather bleak Sainsbury's entrance into The Walnuts Centre: no signage and nothing to entice passers-by nor any indication that there is anything worthwhile to be found at the end of this concrete alleyway! A few hanging flower baskets or even (as a temporary measure) a banner announcing 'The Walnuts Centre' might encourage unfamiliar shoppers to enter.
Could this provide more catering facilities with covered outside areas spilling into the square? At the moment the space is wasted most of the time and is an area which is not amenable for pedestrians at night but, by making it active after normal shopping hours, it could be a great communal area - a safe environment for families to have an entertaining evening out, particularly with the cinema nearby.
*Click on images to enlarge them
During the day, shoppers populate the area. Early evening brings forth students from the college. Maybe some of the more creative students
could use the square for performing - art exhibitions, plays, concerts?
Orpington High Street - but where are the charity shops?!
Have a look at the thriving high street in 1964
(© Orpington History Organisation)
11 August 2013
Orpington High Street on 11 August 2013 and no charity shops in sight! Well, we all know there are 12, or is it 13 now, but many residents enjoy shopping there. There are plenty of other shops as well.
There is a wide variety of restaurants - Italian, Chinese, Thai, Indian, Japanese, which enhances the night-time economy.
However we do need some upmarket clothes and shoe shops for men and women and, perhaps with the new Walnuts development, they will be attracted to a new revitalised Orpington.
Maybe we might even see some more specialised shops springing up in the empty units - cheese? organic bakery? artisan crafts? And what about some 'pop up' shops and entertainment in Walnuts square, particularly when the market is there?