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Old August 1st, 2006, 08:03 PM   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biosonic
I agree! Woody - would you care to modify the title? Or is it against the rules?
Thanks for the support, Bio. In my humble opinion, anything that raises the profile of the magnificent place in which we live has got to be a good thing. Doing this just might help! Anyone else care to comment?
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 12:49 AM   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butterfield
Isn't there a Merry Hill clone in Solihull somewhere?
Noo, Touchwood is high quality, Merry Hill is just cheap. Go to one and then to the other, look at the materials, build quality and design.

Merry Hill is just plaster and concrete (including the floor) that is falling apart, Touchwood is all marble and other nice things and is built to last.
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 12:52 AM   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nacho
From Wednesbury, the new stops will be Golds Hill, Great Bridge, Horseley Heath, Dudley Port, Sedgley Road East, Birmingham New Road, Tipton Road, Station Drive, Dudley Bus Station, Flood Street, New Road, Cinder Bank, Pedmore Road, Canal Street, Waterfront, Merry Hill and then Brierley Hill.
Yeah baby! I live 1 mile the other side of Dudley to Merry Hill, it currently takes well over an hour to get from home to there. Sedgley Road is near to me and the station will go next to Sedgley Mews (awful new housing estate in Tipton).
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 01:14 AM   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonTheSoundMan
Yeah baby! I live 1 mile the other side of Dudley to Merry Hill, it currently takes well over an hour to get from home to there. Sedgley Road is near to me and the station will go next to Sedgley Mews (awful new housing estate in Tipton).
Whens the metro going to reach stourbridge?!?!!
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 01:30 AM   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinN
Its people like you who have caused the death of towns. You want a bland shopping precinct that turns the surrounding towns into dumps. So the end result? A vast swatch of conurbation filled with dumpy towns and a terrible, bland shopping mall - actually, not bland, downright miserable - and filled with nothing but chainstores that effectively destroy the smaller, indie retailers who don't sell mainstream goods.

Then you complain about the traffic jams...
To be honest, I wish I could go to town centres and feel happy and find what I want to buy there. But I can't do anything about my local towns being skanky, I've tried over the years to go occasionally to Dudley but it's horrible, so is Wolverhampton. Shall I go to Shrewsbury or Solihull, maybe Stratford? Erm, no cos Merry Hill is a lot closer to me and I can get most of what I want there!

I do most of my shopping online now anyway - are you going to have a go at me about that too??
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 10:12 AM   #106
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Woody??? Can we have an "Official Black Country Thread" amendment pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease?

Fanks.
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 10:47 AM   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinN
Its people like you who have caused the death of towns. You want a bland shopping precinct that turns the surrounding towns into dumps. So the end result? A vast swatch of conurbation filled with dumpy towns and a terrible, bland shopping mall - actually, not bland, downright miserable - and filled with nothing but chainstores that effectively destroy the smaller, indie retailers who don't sell mainstream goods.

Then you complain about the traffic jams...
That's a bit harsh. Butters is right to a degree - if towns offer shite then people will go elsewhere (that's market forces for you), and you have to remember that the Black Country towns have been suffering deprivation and under investment for 20 odd years now.

If anyone is to blame, it is the 'people' that create the conditions whereby a town centre is an unattractive place to go, and allow an alternative like Merry Hill to be built.

I get cross that nationally we realised the damage that something like Merry Hill did to its surroundings, but allowed more out-of-town shopping centres to be built under the premise "yes, but this is different". Sheffield allowed Meadowhall, and the people that allowed that should be shot and their remains strung up from City Hall. Sheffield city centre just survived but Rotherham is in terminal decline.

The best that can happen to Merry Hill IMO is that Dudley retains its gumf as the historic town centre and Merry Hill/Brierly Hill becomes the new town centre. Smaller units can be built to house indes - that don't come with a high price. A good transport link between NH & Dudley would be good too (trams anyone?) Either that or close MH down, and that isn't going to happen.

Butterfield raises a very good point about shopping online too - and he shouldn't be criticised for that (although thinking about it, having goods delivered to your house rather than picking them up in one trip isn't very environmentally-friendly... )
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 11:13 AM   #108
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... Do not get me started on some online shoopers.


As I said earlier, Dudley council were offered huge lumps of money to redevelop Dudley and change some of the retail to things such as offices, bars, cafes etc. However the council are short sighted and refused. Demand for retail in Dudley is low, they need to adapt as they have competition. Also, do not think Merry Hill is a bad thing, the council get stacks loads of money from them, one of the reasons why the council is one of the richest in the UK.
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 11:36 AM   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biosonic
That's a bit harsh. Butters is right to a degree - if towns offer shite then people will go elsewhere (that's market forces for you), and you have to remember that the Black Country towns have been suffering deprivation and under investment for 20 odd years now.

If anyone is to blame, it is the 'people' that create the conditions whereby a town centre is an unattractive place to go, and allow an alternative like Merry Hill to be built.

I get cross that nationally we realised the damage that something like Merry Hill did to its surroundings, but allowed more out-of-town shopping centres to be built under the premise "yes, but this is different". Sheffield allowed Meadowhall, and the people that allowed that should be shot and their remains strung up from City Hall. Sheffield city centre just survived but Rotherham is in terminal decline.

The best that can happen to Merry Hill IMO is that Dudley retains its gumf as the historic town centre and Merry Hill/Brierly Hill becomes the new town centre. Smaller units can be built to house indes - that don't come with a high price. A good transport link between NH & Dudley would be good too (trams anyone?) Either that or close MH down, and that isn't going to happen.

Butterfield raises a very good point about shopping online too - and he shouldn't be criticised for that (although thinking about it, having goods delivered to your house rather than picking them up in one trip isn't very environmentally-friendly... )

On The subject of Meadowhall. I was living in Barnsley when Meadowhall opened. The Alhambra (known locally as t'alambra) opened around the same time. It had one shop in it.

This was mainly due to Barnsley Council's ingenious strategy to combat a huge shopping centre with free car parking just down the M1. Thats right, they increased the charges for car parking in the town centre!

It took years to get the Alhambra anywhere near full - infact they had to let the entire top half of the centre to Wilkinsons just to fill it. Barnsley Town Centre is predominantly pound and charity shops with the a few chain stores and that's it.

Would you say that's Meadowhall's fault of Barnsley Council's?
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 12:53 PM   #110
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Interesting scenario. If the footfall of Barnsley town centre fell as a result of Meadowhall, then it would be Meadowhall's fault I guess, but then of course that is passed on to Sheffield City Council (and/or Rotherham Town Council?) for allowing Meadowhall to be built without investigating the repercussions.

But: Barnsley Town Council didn't react in the right way. If it was Rotherham town centre that had the money poured into it instead of Meadowhall, Barnsley would have to compete with a legitimate town centre and would have to take steps to ensure they are competitive, and increasing parking fees isn't a wise move!

There is a theme here - Merry Hill and Meadowhall, both large out-of-town shopping centres, both built on former industrial land, both in areas losing its heavy industry, both offering the prospect of employment through retail. Both dangerous for their neighbours.

Love the sig btw
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 01:55 PM   #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stourbridgebaggie
Whens the metro going to reach stourbridge?!?!!
Thought has been given to this and I've seen it delivered on a few projected Metro maps.The reality is that it will be a long way off.If the Wednesbury to Brierly Hill extension proves successful the logical step would be to take it into Stourbridge.I've heard ideas such as using the Parry People Mover to connect Stourbridge to the Brierly Hill Metro.

Check the following link for the Parry People Mover.StourbridgeBaggie,once you click the link, click the red star in the middle of the page for more information concerning its use in your town.

http://www.parrypeoplemovers.com/
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 06:07 PM   #112
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thats interesting nacho are you involved in the midland metro then? my dissertation next year is all about LRT and i think i will probably focus on the midland metro and the tyne and wear metro isnt strictly LRT
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 06:57 PM   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stourbridgebaggie
thats interesting nacho are you involved in the midland metro then? my dissertation next year is all about LRT and i think i will probably focus on the midland metro and the tyne and wear metro isnt strictly LRT
No,I'm not involved.I've just followed its development (and other systems worldwide) over the past few years.It'll be interesting to see what results you come up with for your dissertation.

The following links could be useful for you.

http://www.lrta.org/

http://www.britishtramsonline.co.uk/news.html

http://www.urbanrail.net/
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 07:04 PM   #114
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my original question is LRT the future of sustainable public transport but it might change a bit before april depending on what i find out from my surveys
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 07:20 PM   #115
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There's a book called 'Main Line to Metro' written by John Boynton.It's the most detailed work dedicated to the line ;starting from heavy rail to the eventual Metro.Some interesting stuff in the sixties about an underground line from Rubery to Wolverhampton.Also the underground/tram (with powers given) that failed to secure funds at the end of the eighties.Not mentioned in the book,but there was a bizarre idea in the early nineties to have a Metro that started at Five Ways,entered the canal (it doubled as a boat) and then picked up the line again by Snow Hill.

Last edited by Nacho; August 2nd, 2006 at 07:40 PM.
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 09:21 PM   #116
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I know you've got people to save from burning buildings, cats to rescue from trees and a holiday to take on Krypton but... thankyou, Woody.
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Old August 3rd, 2006, 04:33 AM   #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biosonic
That's a bit harsh. Butters is right to a degree - if towns offer shite then people will go elsewhere (that's market forces for you), and you have to remember that the Black Country towns have been suffering deprivation and under investment for 20 odd years now.

If anyone is to blame, it is the 'people' that create the conditions whereby a town centre is an unattractive place to go, and allow an alternative like Merry Hill to be built.

I get cross that nationally we realised the damage that something like Merry Hill did to its surroundings, but allowed more out-of-town shopping centres to be built under the premise "yes, but this is different". Sheffield allowed Meadowhall, and the people that allowed that should be shot and their remains strung up from City Hall. Sheffield city centre just survived but Rotherham is in terminal decline.

The best that can happen to Merry Hill IMO is that Dudley retains its gumf as the historic town centre and Merry Hill/Brierly Hill becomes the new town centre. Smaller units can be built to house indes - that don't come with a high price. A good transport link between NH & Dudley would be good too (trams anyone?) Either that or close MH down, and that isn't going to happen.

Butterfield raises a very good point about shopping online too - and he shouldn't be criticised for that (although thinking about it, having goods delivered to your house rather than picking them up in one trip isn't very environmentally-friendly... )
If Dudley had a river running through it with weeping willows gently drooping into the swan-topped flowing water and was renamed Dudley-Upon-Avon I may just visit there to do my shopping more often.

However, most of the black country towns don't offer very much in the way of pleasantness. I mean, we've seen that there is some nice architecture in the likes of Wolverhampton in other threads but the bad always seems to outweigh the good. Merry Hill is bland and could be almost anywhere in the world but it's what is offered in my local area, plus as I keep saying, it's safer and cleaner than any town - just check out the toilets for sheer cleanliness and marble-esque beauty - like nowhere else!
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Old August 3rd, 2006, 10:07 AM   #118
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Now Woody, sincere apologies for not asking before, but could you bring yourself to make this a sticky as well? The Black Country (along with Wolves) is as big as Birmingham after all

How about one for Coventry as well?
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Old August 4th, 2006, 02:21 PM   #119
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New Hindu temple is Europe's biggestAug 4 2006

By Dale Williams, Birmingham Mail


THE largest Hindu temple in Europe opens in the Midlands on August 23, with 10,000 worshippers expected to take part in the celebrations.

Priests will be brought in from India to perform ceremonies as part of five days of festivities begin.

It marks the culmination of an eight-year building project to create the huge Shri Venkateswara Temple in Dudley Road East, Tividale.

The Ģ6.5 million temple on a 13.5 acre plot is also available for community use.

The temple, built in the same style as the revered Tirupati Temple in India, was part-funded with National Lottery cash.


The celebrations will culminate in the sanctification of the temple and the installation of a 12ft Lord Krishna.


A spokesman for the temple trustees said: "This is the fulfilment of a long-cherished dream, the end of a long road and the beginning of a new era."


The former Black Country Development Corporation gave the scheme initial planning consent as long ago as 1987.


Building it involved using skilled craftsmen from India to make the intricate carvings.


The design is a blend of traditional and modern Indian architecture.


Bimal Das, secretary of the National Council of Hindu Temples, said: "This is great news for the British Hindu community. The opening of this great temple will be a wonderful addition to the multi-religious society of Britain."
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Old August 5th, 2006, 07:59 PM   #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biosonic
That's a bit harsh. Butters is right to a degree - if towns offer shite then people will go elsewhere (that's market forces for you), and you have to remember that the Black Country towns have been suffering deprivation and under investment for 20 odd years now.

If anyone is to blame, it is the 'people' that create the conditions whereby a town centre is an unattractive place to go, and allow an alternative like Merry Hill to be built.

I get cross that nationally we realised the damage that something like Merry Hill did to its surroundings, but allowed more out-of-town shopping centres to be built under the premise "yes, but this is different". Sheffield allowed Meadowhall, and the people that allowed that should be shot and their remains strung up from City Hall. Sheffield city centre just survived but Rotherham is in terminal decline.

The best that can happen to Merry Hill IMO is that Dudley retains its gumf as the historic town centre and Merry Hill/Brierly Hill becomes the new town centre. Smaller units can be built to house indes - that don't come with a high price. A good transport link between NH & Dudley would be good too (trams anyone?) Either that or close MH down, and that isn't going to happen.

Butterfield raises a very good point about shopping online too - and he shouldn't be criticised for that (although thinking about it, having goods delivered to your house rather than picking them up in one trip isn't very environmentally-friendly... )
The problem is that Britain expanded out of town shopping during a recession - when towns were naturally failing. Now the recession is over, the out of town malls are destroying any chance of redevelopment - look at Dudley, for instance. It's never going to have a vibrant city centre.

It's a mistake they made in the US years ago - the bloke who built the first mall was European, and he went back to Europe in dismay when the malls began destroying the towns. We've just followed it - turning former industrial sites into retail parks has led to absolute dumps like The Fort shopping thing in Brum - what sort of dickhead approved a shopping mall in the middle of nowhere? It's slap bang in a huge industrial area, and you can only drive to it! Dumb.

Merry Hill is the same - it's nowhere, with soulless buildings, soulless landscapes and no street level activity. Big roads. Driver access only. Absolute Rubbish - and all done on the cheap, no doubt propped up with grants.
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