Yesterday I was in the lovely village of Uffington a few miles from where I live. The old village stores has closed down*, and the building it was in is now looking quite shabby. I was wondering how much longer it’s going to be there, given it’s in a prime site in the village. As a building plot it’s worth a fortune!
I though it worth spending a few minutes recording it. Given that it’s not at my home it counts as travel photography! As with all photography, I had to make decisions about what to include, and what story I was trying to tell. I decided that one image wasn’t enough, so took a series. I tried to give a sense of what the old stores was ABOUT, rather than just showing images OF it.
So here’s the facade of the stores. I think it looks a bit as if it’s from an old western film. Because it’s closed down people no longer pay it any attention; they don’t look at it or maintain it. Villages like Uffington need shops and Post Offices, or they risk becoming dormitories where you need a car to do anything.
The details of a building can tell a lot about its history. This window on the front has cracked glass, peeling paint and a ventilator/fan housing closed off, unevenly, with parcel tape. That’s a good material to use given that this was also the village Post Office.
Once this was a sign saying the the shop had closed. Another bit of parcel tape still holds it on to the window, but water has faded the words and damaged the paper. There’s a sort of water damage “coastal outline” on the right hand corner of the sign. The white horse head in the lower part of the frame gives some coarse location information.
The Post Office opening hours sign was in much better condition, though it was of no use whatsoever. There’s cracked paint, and blossom in the cobwebs which helps tell the story.
* You may have noticed that the first image that there’s a big sign that says “Uffington Stores Now Open”. That is because there is a new stores near the Village Hall. It opened in 2014 and is a much larger, and better, facility than the one that closed. This marvellously decrepit arrow made of tape and red paint points the way to the new shop. I think the blue tape is by way of an afterthought, because the black tape initially used to outline the arrow didn’t show up very well on the black background. To me it sums up the whole building.