Christchurch: High Street and Castle Street


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Christchurch: High Street and Castle Street

This page follows Christchurch: Bargates. It continues part of a virtual tour of Christchurch on the Dorset coast of England.

Fujifilm X100F fixed lens digital camera

My new (pre-owned) Fujifilm X100F fixed lens digital camera

Fujifilm FinePix HS50 EXR digital camera

My Fujifilm FinePix HS50 EXR zoom lens digital camera

I took most of these photos in 2020 and 2021. The photos I took in May 2020 used a Fujifilm FinePix HS50 EXR zoom camera. I took the remaining photos with a newer Fujifilm X100F fixed lens compact. Both are electronic cameras despite the film part of the name Fujifilm.

I have also included a couple of photos from 1996 taken with a film camera.


Cafe in the High street, Christchurch, Dorset

New cafe in the High street, August 2020

Emerging from the pedestrian tunnel under the bypass* in August 2020 you encounter a new café on the corner of the High Street…

* Semi literate people, who constitute a large proportion of the local population, have no problem associating the word bypass with a road that leads straight to the town center.

Cafe in the High street, Christchurch, Dorset

The Mercedes-Benz of the town’s cafés viewed from across the street

Incidentally, the only café in Christchurch (Dorset) I do not recommend is Caffè Nero on the corner of the High street/Saxon Square.


Renoufs Pantry

Renoufs (plural) Pantry

A few metres along is this shop, new in May 2021, with a similarly black front. It is also painted black on the inside and has an array of tiny lights strung from its black ceiling like stars.


Backing up (in a virtual sense) to the start of the High street and leaving it by proceeding north-east past the red phone box (visible in the Patisserie Mark Bennett photo) and past the steps of the underpass to Saxon Square…

'Picture This' art gallery in August 2020

‘Picture This’ art gallery, Saxon Square, in August 2020

Picture this – a day in December
Picture this – feezing cold weather
You got clouds on your lids and you’d be on the skids
If it weren’t for your job at the garage.

— From the lyrics of Picture This by Blondie/Deborah Harry/Chris Stein/Jimmy Destri 1978

New in August 2020 was the Picture This art gallery featuring the work of Kate Marr (that’s her in the white jacket). The gallery was closed by November, being replaced by a candy store (sweet shop) but the Picture This gallery is open in Bournemouth. See under External links later on this page.

Incidentally, if you are a Blondie fan, you might like a couple of my photos of Cynthia.


Cafe in Saxon Square, Christchurch, Dorset, England,  in 1996

Oasis café in a corner of Saxon Square late in the 20th century (1996)

The Oasis café is long gone, but I remember sitting outside it with my old mum in the last year of her life reading a magazine about World War 2 airplanes that I had just bought in WH Smith, a few metres away. At the time of writing (summer 2020) these premises are occupied by one of a succession of small businesses that, while possibly viable in London, are doomed to fail in provincial Britain, their parting message sometimes appearing as a printed sheet complaining that they were forced to close because of insufficient government subsidy. The free market, eh?


Buskers on a market day in Christchurch, Dorset, England, in July 2020

The Henrys (I think) in Saxon Square in July 2020

These three are skilled guitarists and harmonious vocalists (or what we used to call singers). They perform mainly Beatles songs and they seem to call themselves The Henrys (if I recall right). They have a web site, but I did not make a note of it, figuring that a well-phrased search would find it. Well phrased or otherwise, I found no trace of them online.


Sound of Soul in Saxon Square

Sound of Soul in Saxon Square, July 2021

In contrast, Sound of Soul has a web site and Facebook page. See under External links later on this page.


Cadillac De Ville in Saxon Square

Cadillac De Ville in Saxon Square on a rainy Saturday during the music festival in late July 2021

Tram car styled sausage stand

Tram car styled sausage stand in Saxon Square on the same rainy Saturday during the music festival in late July 2021


For a similar huge American automobile, see Caroline in Life-size dolls.


Colorful trees in Saxon Square, Christchurch, Dorset, UK

Colorful trees in Saxon Square, October 2020


Saxophonist by the town hall, Christchurch, Dorset

Saxophone square…

Out of Saxon Square and on to the High Street, this saxophonist is in front of the town hall.


Looking north along the High Street on a Monday…

Monday market in the High Street, Christchurch, Dorset, England, in June 2020

Monday market in the High Street in June 2020


The spire of this church is prominent in a photo I took from a nearby hill looking towards the priory and the coast. See On the hill part 1: South and central.

Millhams Street, Christchurch, Dorset, England, in June 2020

Millhams Street in June 2020

Church in Millhams Street, Christchurch, Dorset

Church in Millhams Street


Christchurch high street, Dorset, England, in May 2020

High street looking south in early May 2020

This was during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, during which many shops were closed and pedestrians kept a two-metre distance apart, unless they were members of the same household.

The Ship in the High street

The Ship in the High street in late May 2021


Maw cafe in August 2021

Maw café in August 2021

Maw café was new in July 2021 and is opposite The Ship inn. I took this photo in the afternoon, when that side of the street is in shadow.

A three-legged dog went in and said “I’m looking for the man who shot my paw.” (As in maw and paw…) The Christchurch branch of the Central Intelligence Agency occupies the rooms above (apparently).
🙂


Old Post Office arcade, Christchurch, Dorset, England, in June 2020

Old Post Office arcade

The doors at the end of the arcade used to be an entrance to the main post office. Now (in 2020) it is a vintage ladies’ dress shop. Inside the glass at right is a café bar, but for many years it was a carpet store. And the Pizza Express on the left was in the early- and mid-1990s a shop of mixed content, which included plastic model kits and even aviation postcards. The spaces farther down have changed use similarly over the years.


High Street looking north from Church Street, Christchurch, Dorset, England,  in 1996

High Street looking north from Church Street in 1996

The Post Office arcade is just out of view to the left. The Oxfam premises are now (in 2020) occupied by a mobile phone store. Courts carpet store is now a large cafe-bar. Bookends book store, next along from Courts, had in 1996 just moved from its much smaller premises in Church Street; behind us in this view. Bookends is still (in 2020) in its new location.


Proceeding from the mini roundabout at the end of the High street onto Castle Street, from which the red car is emerging in the preceding photo…

Side street of pastel painted houses  in Christchurch Dorset, England, in May 2020

Side street off Castle Street of pastel painted houses in May

Castle Street, Christchurch, Dorset, England,  in August 2020

Castle Street in August 2020


Punk lady Grace

Grace in early August 2021

I did not get around to asking if she is related to Siouxsie Sioux. (See Faina as Siouxsie in Life-size dolls.) I asked her name though. After pausing for thought, she replied, “Grace.”
🙂

Grace is real girl incidentally, not a life-size doll.

Open-air venue off Castle Street

Open-air venue off Castle Street


This topic continues in Christchurch: Convent Walk, priory and grounds.

External links

Bournemouth Corporation Tramways Wikipedia entry

Picture This Art Gallery with Artist Kate Marr

Sound of Soul choir, based in Bournemouth

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