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Old Town [Leamington Spa]

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Originally known as Leamington Priors, Leamington Spa Old Town was until about 1800 only a small village on the south bank of the river Leam. The mineral springs were known in the Middle Ages, but it was not until 1784 that inhabitants of the village began re-discovering its saline springs, using them to attract visitors wishing to improve their health by ‘taking the waters’.

Sadly, Old Town does not enjoy the Civic Pride that the more affluent New area of Leamington does. However, with the successful win of the Mary Portas Bid - we hope to see Old Town developed into a more pleasant cultural centre. I enjoy the street-life in Old Town, and still feel it has more vibrancy, culture and diversity than the North; which is full of the usual chain-stores and department stores that you see in ever town and city in the country.

Panoramic Pictures of Old Town, Leamington Spa

Old Town has a majority of family-owned independents. (It's also the place to be for cheap balti houses) - but apart from that there's Indian sweet shops; an oriental supermarket; 2nd hand furniture stores; IT shops; hardware, Polish supermarkets, Portuguese Delis, French Restaurants and bakeries and a lovely indenpendent healthfood co-operative called Gaia.

It is quite true, however, that Old Town has a paticular 'edgyness' about it… I really don't mind this bit of character at all… but some people take offence at the gathering rabble of homeless, alcoholics and junkies that congregate in the empty shop fronts and within the car parks. It can be a little intimidating at night, but to tell you the truth: I am more anxious about the hoards of drunken reveling students stumbling home than the odd vagrant begging for change.

I think that the panoramas show a fair bit of this edgyness, I was certainly keen to portray it as truthfully as I could

“Effective problem solving in design requires a balance of strategy and spontaneity, intelligence and creativity.”

Maggie Macnab in Design by Nature: Using Universal Forms and Principles in Design

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Close-up of an SLR Camera

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