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The Aylesburian: We all love a bit of nostalgia but the fact is Aylesbury of the past was scruffy and run-down

The Aylesburian

The Aylesburian

  • by The Aylesburian
 

Nostalgia seems to be gripping the nation, and local folk are no exception.

It may be something to do with the anniversary of World War 1 and the many TV programmes about that tragic episode in our history.

Besides being fuelled by the media, nostalgia sites are everywhere on Facebook. Every town, including Aylesbury, appears to have a ‘Remembered’ Facebook page where people are constantly posting photographs from yester-years.

People yearn for those bygone days, and, I have to admit, Karl Vaughan’s Back in Time featured in The Bucks Herald is one of the first pages I turn to.

I also noticed in last week’s edition that Aylesbury Youth Action is aiming to produce a collection of stories about life in the town between the world wars.

Hang on a minute though!

When you look at some of those photos of Aylesbury 40, 50, 60 years ago, the town often looks a bit ‘scruffy’.

True, some of the buildings may look quaint, but the place has a general run down air about it.

Had the cobbled alleys and streets off Market Square been saved from demolition, I wonder whether they would have been preserved, or would they have ended up like Kingsbury, a hotch potch of vivid colours and aluminium shop fronts.

Our parents used to reminisce that ‘it was better in our day’, but was it really, or are memories tinged with rose coloured specs?

Perhaps it’s best not to look back.

Do we really want to return to an Aylesbury where there were no coffee shops, few restaurants (virtually none serving food after 8.30 pm), and takeaways were a thing of the future; where you dreaded sitting behind a tall person in the cinema because he obstructed your view; and where you watched the movies through a haze of smoke?

The variety of shops was pretty limited as well, but, let’s be honest, Aylesbury has never been a shoppers’ paradise.

On reflection, I say we should be grateful for the town we have, with good pubs and restaurants, a multi-screen cinema, modern theatre and reasonable shops.

I think I will consign Nostalgia to the past.

 

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