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Wycombe from A-Z: D is for Desborough Road
Ask anyone over a certain age about Desborough Road and they will tell you how important this road once was to our town.
Until the 1930's Wycombe was much smaller than it currently is indeed Green Street was at the very edge of the built up conurbation of the town.
Areas like Richardson Street, Baker Street, Westbourne Street and Brook Street were lined with densely packed terraced houses all of which needed shops to keep the residents supplied with essential goods.
All those years ago Desborough Road was one of the main shopping roads in Wycombe supplying the needs of the nearby residents thanks to a line of small retail outlets on the northern side of the road.
Not only were there shops but the southern side of the road was home to St. Johns Church and various factories and industrial operations. The people lived, worked and worshipped all in a very small area.
The community spirit so absent in the modern world was very much alive and kicking in the Desborough Road of olden days.
Amazingly, over a hundred years since its heyday there are some of the original business are still trading there for example the newsagents and hardware store at the western end of the road and the gents hairdressers close to the zebra crossing.
The houses that gave life to Desborough Road were demolished in the 1930's heralding the decline of the area while the church ceased to be a place of worship only a few years ago and is now home to an arts centre.
At the eastern end of the road is the magnificent Collins House which must surely be one of the finest example of late 1960's residential architecture in Wycombe.
Unfortunately the eclectic mix of shops that made the area great has been upset and now there are a disproportionate number of fast food and take away outlets blighting the area.
How on earth did so many takeaways come to spring up in such a small area? Isn't this what the planning process is supposed to stop?
Even the Desborough Road Post Office closed a while back signalling the end of a vital community service that had been present for years.
Sadly Desborough Road has now become known for all the wrong reasons, indeed in recent times reports of muggings, sexual assaults on teenage girls, prostitution, drug dealing and drunks staggering around have become common place.
The crime that has taken place in Desborough Road recently is more akin to a ghetto in the Bronx rather than a road in a historic market town.
When I took the pictures that accompany this blog there were shady characters hanging around in doorways indeed I feared for my safety and kept my camera out of sight as much as possible for fear of being mugged.
Unless you want to buy a newspaper, have a good haircut or buy some quality tools then I recommend that you avoid Desborough Road at all costs.
Desborough Road is not what is used to be. What a shame....
What do you think?
*Maybe you would like to suggest other suitable topics for letters of the alphabet? If you have any ideas on what E could stand for just leave a comment and let me know.
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- Who is afraid of the CCTV camera?
- The danger of fire
- A taxing time buying on the interweb
- Lulled into a false sense of insecurity
- Another missed opportunity in Wycombe
- Goodbye to Wycombe town centre
- Will anyone get tiddly in the fast lane?
- Is there any room at the A&E?
- Turning the spotlight on modern buildings
- Should lads mags be banned?