bunn (bunn) wrote,

Urban day out

We went to the big city today.  Specifically, we went to the Royal William Yard, which years ago when I used to work at that end of Plymouth was a huge empty stone monstrosity full of sad empty windows.   It was built in the early nineteenth century as a Royal Navy victualling yard, in the days when Plymouth had a truly enormous quantity of Royal Navy to feed and supply, and it is monstrous: huge buildings of terrifying solidity all enclosed with vast vaguely-Egyptian-seeming walls (to keep out hungry Janners, possibly?  Who was there that was likely to invade Plymouth in 1835, I should probably know this? )

Anyway, recently they have been slowly doing it up, and now more than half of it is prosperously 'post-industrial' with vast rooms filled with trendy eateries and spiky plants in artfully-rusty pots.

philmophlegm and his moustache.  Later, a random youth commented loudly: "That has to be the coolest moustache IN THE WORLD".  It made his day.

Behind Pp is the River Cottage Gun Emplacement, presumably held in readiness in case of a need to defend against raiders of the artisan cheeses.  

The Best View from the Royal William Yard.  Pp took me to see this saying 'I'll show you the best view I found' and he is right, it is the best view.  Although I think the picturesque lady in tangerine and the lovely little yacht passing in front of Drake's Island were particularly fortuitous.

One of the bits not yet done up, all fluttering with tragic ghostly tatters of plastic across the windows.
Cries out for a 1980's style Dalek to suddenly come crashing  out of one of those grey doors on the left.

As this part of the city is being renovated and filled with expensive apartments, art galleries and  restaurants, it's very noticeable that the centre of Plymouth is emptying: it's a while since I wandered around the center, and there are SO many empty shops now - and those that are full are often full of odd things, that surely are not real businesses?  I like the idea of a huge shop filled with people playing ping-pong, but I can't honestly believe that ping-pong brings in enough money to pay for a city centre location.  Although, who knows?  Maybe people will pay anything to indulge their pingpong obsessions?

I guess that the tired 50's city centre buildings that were built in a hurry on the bombed-out ruins of the city in the aftermath of WWII don't have the glamour or solidity of the nineteenth century remnants.
Tags: devon, plymouth

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