21 September 2005
Norwich News: Chapelfield Mall opens
On Chapelfield Road, the sign wrapped around the scaffolding proclaims that despite all the work still to do, the Mall itself has opened today.
The TV and Newspapers will no doubt make a big thing about it, but here - you'll get a view without the rose tinted glasses!
There are two entrances to the Mall - this one in St. Stephens Street takes you along St Stephen's Arcade into the Lower Merchants Hall.
Wow, doesn't that sound good!
For the northern entrance, you travel through St Stephens Church graveyard (see the 9th Sept. News Report for my comments on that exercise).
This brings you into Chapelfield Plain - and plain just about sums that up - no seats, no plants. Just two or three bollards as a reminder that you are crossing Chantry Road to get to the entrance.
Inside you are on the Upper Merchants Hall, and as you can see, it's a mall.
Well, what did you expect?
Personally, I expected to see some attempt at sound control - these places are noisy! Every part - walls, floor and ceiling reflects the noise.
I also expected to see a bit of plant life.
The only piece I spotted was up on the Dining Terrace - you can see it in this photo.
And talking about this photo - what is it about the shape of that opening? - almost identical to the roof of the new bus station.
Perhaps that's the designated shape for 2005!
And that's it. 6,500 lorry loads of concrete - over a million bricks and blocks - and 5,100 square metres of stone flooring - all to give you another 80 shops, 17 cafés and restaurants.
Only time will tell how much this will destroy other parts of the city.......