It’s all over- the internet has won. Preston versus the recession and the internet.


Christ, this is depressing. The only lights on in the ‘mall’ are on the unrelenting flashing of the empty multitude of children’s rides. An Asian  woman is setting up a stall of wooden motorbikes and smiley long limbed cats that nobody is going to buy. Her face is impassive. Her movements are slow.

There is yet another e-cig stall staffed by a man in a turban but no newsagent to buy an actual pack of real fags. The shops are all closed or about to be closed. I feel for the staff behind the Perfume Superstore, Schrodingers Cats waiting to die. Everything with a slight aura of desperation, futile hope and half price ‘Intimate’ by David Beckham.


The market is rammed, people rifle through piles of clothes that fashion and Lenor has ignored for a decade or more.Chelsea Girl clothing still exists here on a Tuesday morning for a pleasing price.

A sign reads ‘Gooch for Gold’. A woman in a niquab jokes about ‘sexual harrasment’. An outraged female voice retorts, ‘ I was just kissing my cousin!’ The cousin is female and laughs quietly as they all disappear down an aisle of sun bleached Early Learning Centre toys.


Like a sleep walker I stagger to a a favourite place or shop to find it gone, wander around like a zombie to find something familiar, safe, nice.  Preston is interesting, unique and wonderful if you know where to go but someone has changed the map and I am dyspraxic and confused.

I can’t cope when the goal posts are changed, removed and covered in a ‘To Let’ sign.

I am happy enough wondering around, gawking at poverty and modern ruins in a JG Ballard style and The New Continental Pub still exists so  I sit with a large glass of wine and think about how Preston will look next time I pop over on the train.

4 Responses to “It’s all over- the internet has won. Preston versus the recession and the internet.”

  • Sean Says:

    everytime i go to liverpool i have to spend 50 minutes of my life at preston station, which is at any given time is 15 degrees colder then anywhere on earth. so i go to the adjacent shopping centre; my favourite places are the hawkins bizarre which is open for the 15 minutes pre and post christmas, the depressed man who sells corn and the book store that sells the celebrity hardbacks and books on serial killers and cricket that the works has turned down.

  • narf7 Says:

    State of the world, not just Preston. You should see downtown Launceston. Full of bugger all these days. It’s all very sad to be honest and one day we are going to wake up and say “BUGGER… there’s nothing left!”

  • cyberfairy Says:

    Hello Sean-only just discovered actual real comments left recently as presumed the only avid ‘readers’ of this blog were from ‘realliveanal’ and thus stopped checking. Hawkins Bazaar has amazingly stopped retailing so thus the over-enthusiastic staff pretending they were enjoying playing with a remote control helicopter have vanished into the void. Think the book store has gone but if you close your eyes and wish, there might be a Calendar Club opening soon.

  • cyberfairy Says:

    And Narf, an end of the world town named after another end of the world town was never going to end well. I do wonder whether ‘going shopping’ will cease to be a physical act soon. I admit to perusing the internet to buy most things, the recession has not helped and I fear for the over confident owners of ‘waggytails’, the shop for dogs where I have never seen a person (or waggy tail) enter it since its entrance into this dieing market town a few months ago.

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