Took time to visit Dartford town center today. Don’t often go there, but was interested to see the new pre-season poster up and on display at a few well-visited venues.
Its a nice feeling to see your work on display.
On a different level, though, I found Dartford town center depressing. So many empty shops, the emergence of now THREE pawnbroker businesses, not to mention those ‘cash for gold’ shops, a betting shop and an amusement arcade all along the rather run down pedestrianized main high street. The rest of the town seems to consist of charity shops, a Primark and Macdonalds. Being right on the doorstep of Bluewater doesn’t help. Dartford already has a Sainsburys and a Waitrose, and if they push forward with the plans for a huge Tescos we might as well wave goodbye to the town as it goes into a terminal decline. What was once an important place on the route to Canterbury for pilgrims, now is a sad mix of industrial units that attract huge juggernauts from the M25, bulldozed factories, unemployment and a general air of decline. Why anyone would want to pay money to park in this shabby town center is beyond my belief. Some bits have been re-born into a mix of DIY monster store and other retail units that overshadow the pretty Anne of Cleves house now used for register office weddings. The medieval manor house has no grounds to speak off, some nitwit council must have sold off the grounds to make way for the retail space behind. Its a shame that Dartford looks down at heel, because the people I have met and worked with in a photographic capacity as well as in other circles are as nice as you could possibly wish to meet.