Archive for the ‘Farnborough’ Category

Destruction of local businesses

August 15, 2018

What makes a town centre, local businesses, local architecture, they provide a sense of place, the local businesses recycle money within the local economy.

Four local businesses destroyed, for what, a rapacious greedy developer to make fast buck.

A grassy area with flowering cherry trees destroyed, for what, an ugly eyesore of a Premier Inn, and of course a rapacious developer to make a fast buck.

Around the corner The Tumbledown Dick destroyed, for what, a Drive-Thu McDonald’s, and of course to enable  a rapacious developer to make a fast buck, the same rapacious developer.

Within the town centre, half the town centre destroyed, people kicked out of their homes, social housing levelled to the ground for a car park, many local business destroyed, for what, a superstore and a handful of corporate chains.

Welcome to Farnborough, one of the ugliest town centres in the country. And yes, there are worst, Aldershot down the road.

And complicit in all of this, town centre planners, who have not a clue what constitutes good town centre planning, who lack any understanding of how local economies function, but who can be relied upon to act against the interests of the local community, hand greedy developers on a plate whatever they ask for.

Complicit too, thick-as-shit local councillors who rubber-stamp whatever is put before them, who are led by the nose by the planners acting for developers, who stick two fingers up to the local community.

There is one green area left in the town centre. That too is now earmarked for development, no lessons have been learnt, no apologies for the damage wrought on the town centre.

Contrast Farnborough or Aldershot with North Laine in Brighton. Three streets with side streets, quirky indie businesses, coffee shops, music shops, bookshops, restaurants, boutiques, food shops, bakeries, pubs, and not a single corporate chain in sight, nor empty boarded-up shops.  On a Sunday busy, on a Saturday difficult to move for people.

The same is true for the old part of York or Hull Old Town.

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Dysfunctional Stagecoach

November 22, 2017

A bus pass is a bus pass, it is valid across the country no matter where issued, but try telling that to the bus drivers.

Today a bus driver caused great distress to an elderly lady, refusing to allow her to board a bus, claiming, falsely, that her bus pass was not valid.

The bus was in Hampshire, the bus pass issued in Bristol.

The driver claimed the bus pass had expired. This was simply not true, it was a valid bus pass.

He held up the bus for several minutes arguing with the lady, even though she had a valid bus pass.

The driver was clueless how to even use the bus pass.

If placed on the machine, it will fail, it has to be held above the machine.

The lady when asked, said she had not had a problem before using her bus pass.

But even if there was a fault with either the bus pass or machine, all the driver had to do was issue a paper ticket for the journey.

What you do not do is hold up a  bus for several minutes arguing over a fare of a  few pence.

The lady apologised to passengers for holding up the bus.

It was not for the lady to apologise, it was for the driver to apologise.

No apology from the driver.

Domino Pizza classic case study how not to conduct a management meeting

November 14, 2017

Shopping in Sainsbury’s, relax in Sainsbury’s Cafe, maybe have a coffee.

Not today.

Four Domino Pizza employees choose Sainsbury’s Cafe to hold a management or staff meeting.

Two loud mouth bullying male management types shouting at the top of their voices disturbing everyone around them, people wishing to relax, shouting at a young Eastern European female, repeatedly telling her what she was doing wrong, entering her personal space and waving arms around in an aggressive manner.

No, this is not how you conduct a meeting.

No, you do not shout your mouth off.

No, you do not shout at female member of staff.

No, you do not conduct the meeting in an open public place or shout at a junior member of staff in an open public place.

But at least you have demonstrated how bad the management is at Domino Pizza, another McShit job to avoid.

Classic management case study in how not to conduct a meeting.

Lemon Plaice closed

November 14, 2017

Lemon Place added to the growing number of shops closing in Farnborough.

No surprise, the only surprise it did not close years ago, as disgusting fish n chips and always empty.

A chain store opposite selling cheap rubbish has closed.

The biggest closure being Debenhams.

There are close parallels with closure of M&S in Aldershot. Both were selling rubbish the rest of the chain could not shift.

Debenhams bore no resemblance to the rest of the chain. The only time it saw anyone in store was when it held a sale.

St Modwens are threatening yet more regeneration.

Farnborough was not in need of regeneration prior to St Modwen trashing the town, demolishing half the town centre, in doing so destroying many small local businesses and throwing people out of their homes.

Time useless councillors stood up to St Modwen and said enough is enough.

Half a dozen sheds selling crap for Christmas takes the town further down market. The stench of the cooking turns stomach over as walk past. Loud music causing a nuisance.

Why does the council allow it? Because it rakes in some money. No thought given to the impact on the town, impact on businesses in the town.

Not possible to sit and relax in Starbucks with the noise and the stomach churning stench. No that I would wish to as I prefer coffee.

The next to pull out Wilkinsons? The store has been dead for years, ever since Poundland opened.

Both Aldershot and Farnborough in a downward spiral. Both due to the same causes, councillors getting into bed with developers and decades of bad planning decisions that favour greedy developers and do not do either the town or local community any favours.

Retro Coffee Shop

August 3, 2017

I have no idea why called the Retro Coffee Shop.

Is it due to the split and cracked seats? Or that you stick to the seats?

Maybe it is the undrinkable coffee, that somehow managed to be weak and bitter all at the same time? Retro coffee, regressing back to the heyday of undrinkable coffee. Though we can always drink undrinkable coffee in Costa or tax dodging Starbucks and Caffe Nero.

I asked to see the beans. Poor quality catering brand, commodity coffee.  No excuse when these days so many quality coffee roasteries to choose from.

The Tea Shop around the Corner does at least make an attempt to source quality beans, could do better, their coffee is not great, would be much better if employed a barista and sourced quality beans, but they do make the point they are a tea shop not a coffee shop.

Although called a coffee shop, in reality, an old-style greasy spoon cafe. If you are going to call yourself a coffee shop, then at least have the decency to make decent coffee.

Surly Stagecoach bus driver refuses to accept Bus Pass

July 27, 2016

Today at a little before 1650, a surly Stagecoach driver refused to accept a valid Bus Pass and ordered the passenger off the bus.  Driver when asked, refused to give his name.

Stagecoach Goldline, route No 1, location Farnbrough Tech, bus No 22744  heading towards Farnborough town centre.

Passenger forced to get off bus and walk.

Two bus drivers confirmed Bus Pass was valid.

At Queensmead bus interchange, driver of No 1 bus heading towards Aldershot, was shown Bus Pass, asked was it a valid Bus Pass, driver said yes.

Bus Pass was used on return journey, no problem. On alighting from bus, driver was asked was Bus Pass valid, driver said yes.

Refusal to accept a Bus Pas, whilst rare, is not uncommon, drivers finding bogus reasons not to accept.

This uncouth driver, claimed use of bus passes was costing the company money.  His comment only serves to illustrate his depth of ignorance. Whilst it may be true, passengers using a Bus Pass are contributing less than ordinary fare paying passengers, they are contributing an extra revenue stream, which may make all the difference between a bus route being profitable or not, a revenue stream that would not otherwise exist.

There are also other advantages to wider society. Fewer car journeys, less congestion, less air pollution, lower emission of greenhouse gases. It gets people who would otherwise be housebound out and about, increasing their social interaction and mobility, delays dementia. The only disadvantage, makes people lazy, they may hop on a bus when they would have otherwise walked.

Anyone who deals with the public, be it in a supermarket or a bank, displays a name badge. The same should apply to bus drivers.

Once upon a time bus drivers used to have to display their licence. Why is this no longer a requirement?

The Swan

July 17, 2016
Red Arrows fly past over The Swan

Red Arrows fly past over The Swan

How to screw people, charge to sit in the garden during Farnborough Airshow.

Once the Airshow had finished, it was possible to walk into the garden.

The Swan used to be a rough pub. It was refurbished, an excellent job done, barely recognisable.

Then it closed, was refurbished again.  The second refurbishment has destroyed The Swan.

Prices are extortionate. £4-50 for a pint of beer. The barman admitted, complaints all day about the high prices.

No sooner had I sat down in the garden, asked to move please sit at another table.

Later asked to move yet again.

A burger, was quite good.

A second beer.

Now asked to leave the garden, a private party.

The private party did not use the garden.

A small terrace, used to be decking. It too has been destroyed.

Sitting on the terrace, smell of cooking food drifts across the terrace.

All the time I was there, the terrace almost empty, the pub empty, the garden all but empty.

Gurkha Palace

July 17, 2016
buffet lunch at Gurkha Palace

buffet lunch at Gurkha Palace

A Nepalese restaurant, Sunday buffet, food variable, best just after lunchtime peak, otherwise food is sitting there all day.

I walked in around half past two to be told I only had half an hour.

Half an hour for what?

To eat, we close at three.

Since when?

Since beginning of year.

At least explained why it was nearly empty.

But with Farnborough Airshow on, would have thought would be open all day.

I would have sat inside, by the window, but a lady who was sitting outside, asked would I tell her what the planes were, I sat outside.

She invited me to join her, but as the tables were tiny , I grabbed an empty table.

Food was ok, but nothing special. I also noted that had jacked up their prices, charging evening prices for lunchtime buffet.

Farnborough International Airshow 2016

July 17, 2016
Red Arrows

Red Arrows

Every two years, a jamboree for arms dealers, a showcase for the world’s most lethal killing machines, but portrayed as a fun day out for the family.

Try telling that to families in Syria.

For the local people and businesses in Farnborough, two weeks of noise, one week of gridlocked roads.

F -35 peaked at 112 dBs.

Day 1, a heavy downpour, nothing exceptional to what we have seen this year, but the Airshow could not cope. Exhibition halls flooded, loss of power, mass evacuation from the halls, Airshow closed early.

Irony, aviation fastest growing source of greenhouse gases, airshow shut down by inclement weather.

Those expecting lots of flying, would have been gravely disappointed. Very little flying, long gaps between.

Red Arrows did a fly past, and that was it.

No Lancaster or Battle of Britain fly pass.

There was a flying fortress, it did a fly pass, and that was it.

Normally, on Saturday and Sunday, it is packed outside The Swan at the end of the runway, best place for viewing, but this year few people.

Airshow organisers showed their usual contempt for local people. No compensation for nuisances caused, but they could buy one ticket and get one half price.

Buffet lunch at Gurkha Palace. I was surprised to find closes at three o’clock.

The Swan once again ripping people off during Farnborough Airshow. A fiver to sit in the garden, £4-50 for a pint of beer.

Destruction of Farnborough town centre

May 13, 2016
not only Farnborough trashed in Aldershot board-up shops

not only Farnborough trashed in Aldershot board-up shops

Aldershot recently re-paved streets being dug up

Aldershot recently re-paved streets being dug up

More hypocrisy from Gareth Lyon, wringing of hands, shedding of crocodile tears that Farnborough town centre has been trashed by KPI/St Modwen.

Gareth Lyon is one of the local councillors responsible for the destruction of The Tumbledown Dick for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s.

Lyon met behind closed doors with McDonald’s and stitched up a dirty little deal to destroy the pub. He then, as chair of the planning committee, had the stupidity to brag that the planning committee had approved the deal he had struck with McDonald’s

The destruction of Farnborough town centre did not just happen. It happened because useless councillors like Gareth Lyon  gave it the go ahead.

They rubber-stamped demolition of half the town centre for a Sainsbury’s supermarket.

Many small businesses were destroyed. Not only loss of livelihood,  in many cases loss of house if used as collateral for the businesses.

When retailers refused to vacate their premises, they were threatened with Compulsory Purchase Orders.

Families living at Firgrove Court, social housing, saw their homes destroyed for a car park for the supermarket.

The supermarket faces out of the town centre, to discourage leakage into the rest of the town centre. It is a trolley shop, empty into the boot of the car, drive home.

The supermarket it replaced in Kingsmead, was a basket shop, little and often, wander around the town. When it closed, Kinsgmead emptied of shoppers and retailers.

No one is surprised at the destruction of the town centre. That is the track record of St Modwen, they destroy town centres.

Destruction of Farnborough town centre approved by local councillors and never once questioned by the sycophantic local press. Indeed the local press simply year on year regurgitated press releases from the local developer and councillor more or less verbatim, and applauded the regeneration that was taking place. Only there was no regeneration, what was taking place was the trashing of a town centre.

One million pounds squandered repaving Queensmead. Shoddy workmanship, shoddy materials, and  now Queensmead floods every time there is a downpour of rain. And it did not even need repaving. The runway lights that lined the street,  are now being drilled out and the holes plugged with a dollop of tarmac.

To put the £1 million in context, that is the cost of relaying the setts in Guildford High Street.

Why therefore the Queensmead job so expensive? Incompetence? Backhanders?

This time of year people would be enjoying the flowering cherry trees at Firgrove Green. Not any more. Now we have an eyesore Premier Inn hotel on what was green space.

The other area of green space behind the Library, the council wish to see developed. More profit for greedy developers, more money sloshing around, more opportunity for palms to be greased.

And it is not only Farnborough the local council has destroyed.  They have done an excellent job destroying Aldershot Boarded-up shops, disgusting fast food outlets, binge drinking bars, gambling joints. The remaining shops are one by one pulling out, even the charity shops. The expensive repaving of the streets which was supposed to pull people in (only it did not) is already being dug up.