The two faces of Midland Road

Midland Road in Bedford is one of the main thoroughfares running into the town centre.

Jump off the train, come out of the station, hang a right, then a left at the roundabout and you’re on Midland Road.

This end of it is just a bog-standard road lined with shops and stuff, fairly old.
Used to be a really thriving and vibrant part of the town, but now so many businesses have closed down or surrendered to charity shops and other cheapie retail outlets that its actually quite depressing.

(As an aside… I find all these cheapie shops (Poundstretcher, Lidls, Cash Xchange, charity shops etc etc) to be really depressing, and avoid them as much as I can. Reminds me too much of my poverty-stricken childhood maybe. And a precursor of what may lie in the future. Grim!)

Midland Road, Bedford _G100677

Midland Road, Bedford _G100685

Midland Road, Bedford _G100674

But five minutes’ walk or so and you reach the intersection with Greyfriars (a part of the town long scheduled for redevelopment, when the Council finally gets its act – and money – together) and River Street.

Crossing over at the traffic lights then and you find yourself in the other part of Midland Road, pedestrianised, modernish, and on market days full of shoppers and folk just chilling out. This bit runs right into the heart of the town centre, linking with the High Street via Silver Street, and with St Paul’s Square via Harpur Street.

Midland Road, Bedford _G100670

A reasonably pleasant place to be with coffee shops where one can sit outside enjoying coffee and nibbles and watching the world go by.
The main access to the town’s indoor shopping mall, The Harpur Centre, is also along this bit of the road.

Neither part of Midland Road is a place I’d particularly recommend for ambling during the evening or at night though.

The older section has a few takeaways and stuff and seems to act as a magnet to the denizens of the various side streets, one of which is quite notorious as a hangout for druggies and other unsavoury types. Been the location of murders and stuff in the not-too-distant past.

Whilst the pedestrianised section gets to be a bit spooky after about seven in the evenings, virtually deserted apart from the odd dodgy hoodie-types hanging around here and there.

So that’s where mate and I were yesterday, on a mission sorta thing. But it didn’t stop us from grabbing a few pics of some other places around the town.

Horne Lane, Bedford _G100657

Harpur Street, Bedford _G100648

River Street, Bedford _G100663

About fotdmike

Occasional photographer; occasional writer/blogger; occasional activist; occasional computer-geek. Bit of a fool really.
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3 Responses to The two faces of Midland Road

  1. forkboy says:

    I agree. That one end of Midland looks decidedly dodgy. Like certain older parts of the Las Vegas Strip.

    • fotdmike says:

      Actually, this entire post is your fault!

      Something you said the other day… can’t remember now whether it was a comment here or on Flickr, or even in an email. But it was about seeing people walking around towns and stuff.
      Anyway, it set me to thinking… and I thought that some folk might find it a bit interesting if I were to sometimes include a bit of blurb when I upload pics from a particular location.

      Just don’t expect it to become a habit though!


  2. fotdmike says:

    And another thing… odd isn’t it, but I’d always imagined the Las Vegas Strip to be full of brightly flashing neon lights, casinos and stuff. Along its entire length. That’s what comes of just seeing the stuff on films, and holidaymakers’ snapshots.

    And to my mind such misperceptions underline the interest inherent in pics that aren’t the typical touristy type stuff.

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