|The main highstreet.|
Aberystwyth is falling apart.
At least it certainly feels like that sometimes.
I’ve had a few discussions about this over the past few weeks, but have been unable to pinpoint exactly what is wrong, or what has been going wrong recently.
Another shop closed down this week. The Don, which has been in Aberystwyth since I moved here the first time around when I was ten years old. It wont be the last though, I’m sure. A newsagents went just before it, and Bon Marche is closing down, and Peacocks is in jeopardy. On Terrace road, every other shop almost is empty. Some have been empty for years and years. Some were empty when I moved back two years ago, some have closed since then. The National Milk Bar, which was there before I moved in 92, closed down last year. The off-licence has been closed since before I moved back two years ago, longer since. The Air Ambulance Charity Shop, took in a quarter of a million pounds while it was open, but was closed down anyway.
Slowly the town will just be chain shops, massive supermarkets and pubs. It’ll have no character what so ever.
These are the just the shop closures. The council is closing down the Day Centre purpose built for the elderly, and the health board wants to close down a lot of the services at Bronglais hospital.
And after that there is this sense of something in the people. There aren’t enough houses or homes for the residents, and not enough housing for the students. And there was way, way too many students. There are more students than residents, and while I don’t blame them for everything; cause there are certainly enough residents in Aberystwyth that cause trouble(one way or another), but as discussed between me and my girlfriend not all of the students care about Aberystwyth, what happens here. They’re kids (no offence), they’re here for half the year, and only three years, and then gone again. Caring about the state of the town in the long term is not high on their priorities. And it probably shouldn’t be, it’s up to us residents to look after the place, but the students could help a little.
And more residents could take an interest. Voting, signing petitions, the protests, letters to councillors and MPs, there are a lot of things that could be done that don’t take very long or much effort.
On top of all there, there are other bits and bobs. Like the rubbish. I understand why the country and our own council changed to fortnightly bin collections but at the same time, well, we have seagulls. There like seaside foxes. They rummage through your rubbish and rip apart your bin bags. It’s insane. And some people have to put their bins out on a main(ish) road, and the rubbish can get spread a long way by the seagulls or the wind (this is Wales after all).
So there’s the rubbish, and building work that never gets finished; library was supposed to be relocated but the refurbishment to the new building has been going on for a looooooooooooog time; by time it’s finished we’re gonna need another upgrade and don’t get me started on the hospital.
All of these things (and some I can’t think of right now) have created a feeling that there is something wrong with Aberystwyth.
Which makes me terribly sad because I love this town. I was desperate to move back to Wales, to be closer to my family, and I could’ve looked for some anywhere to live from Aberystwyth to Aberaeron, but I wanted to like her in Aberystwyth, I have always loved this town, even when I first moved here as a kid. I consider Wales my home, even when I was in Leicester, and it’s sad to feel this way about the town.
I hope it things improve. I really do, and I will continue to do my part (like voting, writing letters, blog posts, stopping the seagulls from getting at my bins), because I don’t really want to move. I’m settled here.
I’m happy here.
(picture from wales-online)