Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Merry Hell

Took Mum Christmas shopping to Merry Hill today. Sorry, "Westfield Merry Hill". Does anyone ever call it that?

Anyway, if there is a recession on, there wasn’t much sign of it there, judging by the full car park and the crowds inside.

Mum still isn’t terribly mobile (although much improved over this time last week) so it was a car job, which of course added to the congestion approaching the place, even on a weekday. Dudley Council appear to have been digging up the same stretch of Saltwells Road in Dudley Wood since before the Norman Conquest.

It also struck me that the centre really isn’t a brilliant place to reach by public transport, despite not really being “out of town” but embedded within the built up area of the West Midlands. Yes, it has a large network of bus services; but when the roads get congested, they get held up, too. It really needs a segregated rail (well, Metro) connection. I know that Midland Metro’s Line 3 is supposed to serve the place one day but at the current rate of progress on that, I’ll travel on the first tram free of charge as I’ll be a Senior Citizen by the time it gets built.

So, although Mum liked it and we managed to get a lot done…….it’s not really my sort of place. Rather than a "real town", it looks like Paradise with a Frontal Lobotomy. In any case, it doesn’t have enough bookshops!


  1. I'v always felt like a number when I have been there (which is only about 3 times in 5 years).

  2. Westfield would love everybody to use their name when referring to their centres, but even close to their home base, we don't. It's Southland, not Westfield Southland.

    And yes, the PT issue is much the same here.

  3. I hate shopping, so I hate shopping centres. DO you realise just how noisy they are? I didn't until a few years ago, when the choir I sing in did a fundraiser for the Tsunami appeal. Trying to hear anyone or anything (the keyboard) was well-nigh impossible! I'm used to Dudley Town Hall and pre-rebuild, Birmingham Town Hall where you feel like a soloist in the midst of whatever ensemble you happen to be in, but this was of another order!