Christchurch: Bargates, High Street, and Castle Street


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Christchurch: Bargates, High Street, and Castle Street

This page follows Miscellaneous photos, the 1960s. Together with subsequent pages, it constitutes 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 these photos in 2020. The photos I took in May 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 photo from 1996 taken with a film camera.


Railway station from the bridge where Fairmile Road becomes Bargates, Christchurch, Dorset, England, in May 2020

The railway station viewed from the bridge.

The sequence starts from the railway bridge where Fairmile Road becomes Bargates, proceeds down to the High street, and left onto Castle Street. Photos of subsequent parts of the route are on following pages.

Looking towards timber company premised past the railway bridge where Fairmile Road becomes Bargates, Christchurch, Dorset, England, in May 2020

Looking towards timber company premises past the railway bridge where Fairmile Road becomes Bargates (in May 2020). The lopped trees are on Stour Road.

House in Bargates, Christchurch, Dorset, England, in May 2020

House in Bargates


Castle's hardware store, Bargates, Christchurch, Dorset, England, in June 2020

Castle’s hardware store in Bargates in June 2020

Castle’s was there when I first came to the area in 1964. Here in Britain we call a hardware store an iron monger. (Or we used to.)

Beaconsfield Road off Bargates, Christchurch, Dorset, England, in June 2020

Beaconsfield Road off Bargates


Cafe in Bargates, Christchurch, Dorset, England, in June 2020

The Coffee Pot in Bargates

I took this photo in the morning. By afternoon, the Coffee Pot is on the shadowed side of the street.


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 enocunter 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.


Re-crossing the street (in a virtual sense) and proceeding to Saxon Square past the red phone box and past the steps of the underpass…

'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 is the Picture This art gallery featuring the work of Kate Marr (that’s her in the white jacket). See under External links later on this page for her web site.


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

Oasis café in a corner of Saxon Square late in the previous 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.


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 Miscellaneous photos, on the hill.

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.


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

Open-air venue off Castle Street

Open-air venue off Castle Street


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

External link

Picture This art gallery: Artist Kate Marr

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