Royal Arcade

good friday 2_20160327_0027 (2)

good friday 2_20160327_0028 (2)

This arcade was designed at the end of the nineteenth century by George Skipper, a local architect who was fond of late-art nouveau flourishes. It links the market place to the edge of the Castle Mall development, and there’s no doubt it possesses a lot of character; walking through it is like stepping back in time a hundred years, but unfortunately the shops don’t really do it for me. Apart from Langley’s Toy shop, all of them seem to specialise in over-priced tat and confection, and horror of horrors, where there used to be a very fine Waterstone’s book shop at the Castle Mall end, there is now a bloody awful Jamie Oliver Italian restaurant, with staff encouraged to take on the great man’s mannerisms, and imitate his overbearing Essex-boy persona.





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