At the start of October we went down south for a few days to see our friends Anna & Keith and to check out Bracknell’s newly unveiled town centre.
We’ve been to Bracknell loads of times but only actually been to the town centre once before in 2014, and it’s changed beyond all recognition since then!
Our first/last trip to have a look round was on a grey and rainy Sunday afternoon in November 2014, and it seemed particularly dreary, with hardly anyone around, and most of the old town centre already demolished. I love old shopping precincts though and despite the fact it was so bleak, there was something I really liked about Charles Square.
One of my favourite things I liked was the fibreglass mural by William Mitchell, which was above an empty shop (Mothercare I think?) in Charles Square. It was commissioned in 1974 for the 25th anniversary of Bracknell becoming a ‘new town’ after the war. I was worried they’d get rid of it as part of the redevelopment but am pleased to hear they’ve kept it and it’s going to be on display permanently on the centre of a roundabout in the town centre! Coincidentally, there is also a William Mitchell mural in Sheffield which I love. The Sheffield one is made from concrete. It would be such a shame to lose these things.
Read more about the work of William Mitchell here – www.william-mitchell.com
More photos I took on our last visit, on my Flickr page – ‘One hour in Bracknell, November 2014‘.
The new centre is called The Lexicon. It opened at the start of September. I wasn’t sure what to expect as despite places getting run down and past their best, I’m never keen on change when it comes to town centre redevelopments. I must say though, I love it! It looks great, and there are so many good shops, plus a food market on the day we went. Think I could easily spend a whole day looking round and spending lots of money I haven’t got! It’s hard to believe this is the same place as the photos above. To be honest, I couldn’t relate the new places to the old at all, even when they were pointed out to me, and I was completely disoriented!
There are still a few glimpses of the old Bracknell here and there! I particularly like the library building, and the lettering on the side of the Royal Legion building.
One of my other favourite things about Bracknell is all the decorated underpasses you get to walk through on the way to town. Some of them are simple and others are quite ornate. The more ornate the better in my view!
Apparently there are 76 underpasses in total so I think we only saw a small selection! Here are a few faves…
I’m not sure of any of the artists, or how old the murals are. They must have taken ages to do though.
One of the underpasses focused on communication through the ages..
We got the train back in the evening.. I love this mural above the station entrance. Art is everywhere!
If you ever go to Bracknell, make sure you check out some of the underpass art, I feel its one of the towns finest features!