Very much like City Road, the street which I observed for comparison, Concord High Street, is a mixture of consumer outlets and places in which the local population socialise, during the day and later on on a night.
Concord High Street is part of what is locally understood to be ‘Old’ Washington, i.e. the original small village that once stood here amongst the coal mines, as opposed to ‘New’ Washington, which includes the huge ‘Galleries’ Shopping Centre and local council estates.
It is this distinction between the old and new towns which I feel is mainly responsible for the inequalities displayed on the High Street, and the little interaction between the groups of people who use it. There is evident disjointment between the youth and the elderly in terms of which facilities on the street are used.
The youth who use the High Street are mainly students at the local college. Although there is a gym and a library accessible to them on the High Street, they are seldom used. As a result, those who are there are mainly using the busy bus terminal or buying lunch from Greggs.
There are many smaller, local businesses here however, that have survived for many decades, just as on City Road, and do so regardless of the nearby commercial stores.
The ‘veterans’ of ‘Old’ Washington I feel are responsible for this survival. Ignoring the crowds of the Galleries, some choose to still buy their groceries from a small shop called ‘Riley’s.’ There is also an electric shop which sells various D.I.Y products called ’Butt’s’ which has been successful for over 40 years, even though the local B&Q is easily accessible.
This is a marked difference to City Road, which as the DVD states (The Street, 2009) is used frequently by both students and the ethnic groups who live nearby. Concord High Street does have the facilities to cater for all ages, but the...