Incidental Pictures of Romiley, (Part 9)
A journey through time and space with a Canon digital camera

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2019/04/22

 57: Bank Holiday Monday—but should it be if there are no banks? 

The former NatWest bank branch in Romiley, 2019Romiley officially became bankless in March 2019 when the Royal Bank of Scotland gave up the ghost. In the good old days, the village could boast branches of four major banks, and in the 1980s, when building societies were fashionable (a role now taken by take-out eateries), just about every major building society also had a presence.
   The rot started with the disappearance of the TSB branch; after the bank had been swallowed up by Lloyds and before it was split off again as a separate institution. Next to go was Barclays, which was a real loss to the community as its ATM handed out £10 notes for small withdrawals instead of a mixture of tens and twenties. After standing empty for a while, the site was reinvented as House of Colour. Poignantly, the site of the ATM has been preserved on the side of the building.
   There was some speculation that the imposing NatWest branch, when it got the chop, would be turned into a Town Hall for Romiley or a residence for a Mayor. But nothing ever came of it and the building is now rotting quietly.

The former TSB branch in Romiley, 2019

The former TSB branch in Romiley


The former Barclays branch in Romiley, 2019

The former Barclays branch in Romiley


The former NatWest bank branch in Romiley, 2019

The former NatWest branch in Romiley


When the NatWest went, reducing the ATM population to the one at the Royal Bank of Scotland and the ones at Sainsbury's and the Post Office, there were hopes that this was the end of the carnage, given that NatWest and the RBS are parts of the same organization and it could maintain a foothold in Romiley in the smaller RBS building. But this branch, too, was doomed by the bean-counters.

The former NatWest bank branch in Romiley, 2019

The former RBS branch in Romiley

 58: A minor mystery cleared up 

What are that pillar box and the anti-ram-raider bollards doing in the shopfront of a Beauty Studio? That's where the Post Office used to be before it was moved into the newsagent's operated by the Patel family in the Precinct.

The former site of the Post Office in Romiley, 2019

The former site of the Post Office in Romiley


The current site of the Post Office in Romiley, 2019

The current site of the Post Office in Romiley—closed on Easter Monday

2020/03/28

 59: “Shutters down for Chinese corona” 

Welcome to the ghost town! The block to the west of the Stock Dove pub [top picture] was once a thriving community of small businesses with a corner shop, a newsagent, a hairdresser and a butcher. Now, it's just the horizontal skyscraper of the insurance company with an embedded Chinese takeaway; both closed.
   It really must be the end of the world if the Coral bookie [bottom picture] has been obliged to shut up shop. Only the Handyman DIY shop and the newsagent/Post Office to the west of it are still open in that block. On the other side of the Forum, J.H. Neal's fruit & veg. shop and the adjacent Sainsbury Local are still open. The former RBS branch remains shuttered and unwanted.

Compstall Road, Romiley, March 2020

Compstall Road, Romiley, March 2020

Compstall Road, Romiley, March 2020

2020/07/12

 60: “Plaguetown!” 

Compstall Road, Romiley, July 2020Three months on, the ghost town is somewhat less ghostly with shops open again and café at No. 29 serving customers out in the street. But C&C [see Section 59] still has its shutters firmly down.
   The once brand-new lamp posts could do with a lick of paint. But expecting the council to spend our money on something useful is wishful, to say the least. There are signs up telling us to keep our distance; like we didn't know that; including one next to the still unwanted former NatWest bank branch.
   The owners seem to have given up on trying to rent out the building and it looks like they are hoping to sell it to someone who would like to create six new flats right at the heart of things.
   Let us hope they manage to unload the place before the rotting window frames give up the ghost completely and all the windows fall out and shatter on to the Pavement of Death, making it an even greater hazard to health!

Compstall Road, Romiley, July 2020

Compstall Road, Romiley, July 2020

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