Out in the Field with Herald chief reporter Annemarie Field: Antiques giving former bank a new lease of life

IT WAS sad to see the old Barclays Bank on the corner of Seaside and Beltring Road close its doors but I’m glad to see it has been given a new lease of life as an antique and vintage market.

It is stacked full of collectables, curiosities and I could quite happily spend half the day wandering around the various stalls and doing what I do best – spending money.

And it still has the original bank vault tucked away in the coroner – fascinating stuff.

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OH DEAR, I see the little men at county highways have struck again and moved the pavement outside Debenhams and Diplocks (sorry, the Duke of Devonshire or whatever it is called these days), right out into the road.

It’s like the bus stops that stick out in the road all the way along Seaside – totally pointless and a waste of council tax payers money. Perhaps someone can explain the logic of it all.

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I SEE the proposed Morrisons store is taking shape along Lottbridge Drove and no doubt it will be up before we can say, “gosh, yet another superstore”.

But anyone who drives past it heading towards Hampden Park level crossing will be dreading the extra traffic that will undoubtedly be created.

Already motorists face long delays as they queue up along the road trying to turn left as the more crafty and sneaky drivers get into the right hand lane and go round the roundabout as a short cut so they can jump the queue, bless them.

The Lord himself only knows what the queues will be like once Mr Morrison opens for business.

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WORD reaches me that hoteliers are less than pleased at the news that Premier Inn wants to open a 65 bed hotel in the former Co-op building in Terminus Road.

The council’s planning committee makes the final decision this week and unless it wants a hideously expensive appeal on its hands, is likely to give it the go ahead.

Some hoteliers say another hotel is the last thing some of the town’s struggling bed and breakfasts and hotels want.

Personally I think it is lovely that such an iconic building is to be given a new lease of life instead of remaining empty.

And I also can’t help thinking a bit of competition is a healthy thing and some of the less salubrious establishments will just have to up their game.