This is an unusual assignment for Writing 101 today, in that we are to use a map as our muse for a post. I ummed and ahhed over this for some time as I wasn’t sure of where to go with it (ahem, rubbish pun alert)!

I decided that I would take you on a trip of my ‘home’ town centre as it will only take five minutes. Although I wasn’t born in Kent, this is the place where I have lived (off and on) ever since I was thirteen years old and is the longest I have ever lived anywhere.

So, let’s go! Β Let me just give you a little background as to what it was like when I first came here. Our town centre comprises mainly of two roads, Bank Street which then goes into High street (upper and lower). In Upper High street there is a small row of little old buildings which are now mostly shops named Middle Row. At the very top of the High Street there was enclosed shopping centre, County Square, and that was it.

Actually, there was the most important thing that I forgot! We had a market right at the bottom of Bank Street, which was what this town was all about originally. There were livestock auctions, car auctions (I got a car from there once), a cafe, and a few other shops in the main building. On Saturdays, the huge open air area was filled with all types of stalls from bread and cheeses to clothes and bags.

It has moved to another site out on the outskirts of town, and the old place is derelict now. Some of it has been incorporated onto the new ring road andΒ ‘shared space’ that the town is so proud of.

The old market was on the left hand side of this picture.

Now, we have another shopping centre, Park Mall, plus County Square has been extended at the Bank Street end to house a load more of the larger stores.

These all look shiny and new, and very fancy, but in order to extend County Square. some of the old buildings were knocked down in order to accommodate them. We do, however still have some character left to our town.

Not least the 13th Century church that is hidden away (well ok you can see the clock tower), down a little passage. It is in the middle of a square of little old buildings which are still there.

St Mary's Church
St Mary’s Church

The town has changed considerably in the 36 years that I have been here. It used to be filled with shoe shops and estate agents, now it is all mobile phone shops and vapour cigarette places, things that I had neverΒ even heard of in 1979!