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Author Topic: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham  (Read 151620 times)

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Rochester-bred

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Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
« Reply #124 on: March 21, 2012, 12:24:33 »
Numanfan, fab picture, it must of been taken around the time I was working in the Pentagon, it looks so busy such a shame it all went downhill eventually.

NCR

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Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
« Reply #123 on: September 02, 2011, 15:29:46 »
Some people may be a bit confused by what I obsessively bang on about here particularly in relation to Pentagon as a "mixed use" facility (which it's lost sight of since it's inception) and it's current (in my view flawed) relationship with the rest of the town centre. Others may also have missed this document. Some of which RuM council has chosen to disregard or scale back on.

http://www.medway.gov.uk/PDF/pentagon_development_brief.pdf

http://www.medway.gov.uk/PDF/chatham_centre_and_waterfront_dev_brief.pdf

Still an interesting read and takes it's cues heavily from the regeneration of Manchester; another major centre dominated by a retail/leisure facility/transport hub and the infamous Bullring in Birmingham.

http://www.medway.gov.uk/pdf/Chatham%20High%20St%20Best%20St%20masterplan%20report.pdf

Readers who find the early sections a little dry may wish to skim through the hogwash and get to section 4.0 but please make the effort to go back to the theory later.. :)

If half of what is explored in this document ever gets realised defining Pentagon is going to become even harder. There were nods to mixed use in it's infancy - of a crude nature. The local area lost a few pubs so they stick a couple of bars in. At least one nightclub was lost that I can recall - ditto.

It takes more than that however to wipe away a large area, and disturb the make up and balance of the surrounding, surviving streets and call it job done. Pentagon pulled big stores and customer footfall way from the Rochester end of Chatham High Street in the same way Manchester Arndale shifted attention from, and killed off the old shopping area of Ancoats. Arndale also replaced a high density area of pubs, businesses, residential (slum perhaps but salvageable) now lost forever.

Was this overall a good thing - who can say. An interesting observation made from Manchester's experience is that Councillors of the time stated if they had knew how large it was going to be - they'd have had second thoughts. Also with hindsight we can rue the development opportunities of the sites Arndale replaced. Just ten years after Arndale was built they'd have been looking to keep the character of the area and it's diversity intact and investigating other options. The era of the out of town shopping centre had begun..

The above document subtlely nods to these and other issues when exploring the form a 21st century Chatham may take. Pentagon wasn't just viewed on it's inception as a shopping centre. It was intended, in part, to fill a requirement as a part of the town centre all under one roof. Keeping Fair Row as a the name for a main artery in the centre was not simply a nod to the past - it was a statement of intent.

We're now looking to break down the barriers between exterior and interior to create a more homogenous, pleasant, vibrant and succefful area for leisure, retail and commerce to flourish. For sheer intention I think the design brief, if a little unimaginative and relying on "cherrypicking" should have been applauded as a welcome step. Do we have enough groundswell of support in the Medway Towns of interested people to ensure the Council delivers the best possible vision though?.

Would be a shame if the result is a half hearted rejig that removed some old issues and created new ones. The lessons of the past are never more relevant than when discussing Chatham's future.




Th3doctor

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Badge Shop Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
« Reply #122 on: September 01, 2011, 18:39:30 »
Hi all, just joined to ask if I'm right in thinking that the badge shop that appeared (to 7 year old) to be built into the wall opposite where the lottery shop now stands. Was called "Look laugh + +"? I vividly remember spending pocket money on loads of different badges from there.

You had to stand outside and look through the glass to choose a badge:) I bought one that was green about the size of a 10p piece, that had black writing on stating to anyone who read it to "GO SUCK A FART!" absolutely hilarious to a 7 year old boy:)

All was well with my new badge, until I made the mistake of waring it into Mr Mctaggarts class room at walderslade CP school dargets road. He didn't react at all for about 15-20 seconds (think mr Bronsen) then shook me by the shoulders asking me if I knew what the badge said and exactly how offensive it was? I stupidly replied that of course I did. Lunch time spent up on the wall for me and a letter home including the badge, that was subsequently destroyed by my embarrassed mother.:(

Still have all the badges from LOOK LAUGH PLUS PLUS up in the attic:) Good times:) unless you were Mr Mctaggart that is:(

Offline gatsovandel

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Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
« Reply #121 on: August 27, 2011, 17:39:58 »
be interesting to find out were these play things are now? can't see them just being scrapped some one must have these? would not Surprise me if they were still on the pentagon premises  some were as there are big storage tunnels under ground! or that's what a  pentagon/Mountbatten house engineer told me once like to speak to him again!

Offline Lyn L

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Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
« Reply #120 on: August 27, 2011, 17:19:21 »
Look at replies 29 and 129 on this thread and that should be the snail , or as someone else put..... 'Nautilus' and I'm sure I remember the whale too.
Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life tryi

NCR

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Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
« Reply #119 on: August 27, 2011, 16:55:36 »
I think you're right NCR. I don't remember it being a whale, but I definitely remember the slidey bit going from one end to the other. Perhaps I just didn't recognise it as a whale at the time!

The snail also had a slidey ramp - from mouth to it's rear anyway - there the ladder like "roof" curved up to become a climbing frame - so you climbed a ladder to the top of the snail shell?.

Does that sound right with anyone else? - need a good picture of the snail!

Offline gatsovandel

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Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
« Reply #118 on: August 27, 2011, 15:43:28 »
i not quite sure what lifts were what. but i defendant remember the lifts and ramp that went to bejams an  yes that lift was terrifying and as a kid i would cause mayhem as i refused to go in them lol and that strange ramp so dark and de creped and did stink of bleep! but then, it was either them long steps going up! or the doggy escalator that sounded like it was going to fall to bits! when it was working! then again look at the lighting back then? that was mental looked like you were in a space ship of some sort! i  wander when the fountain was done away with how much money was found? i remember as a kid trying to grab some and been told off! but i remember nothing about the car parks saying that mum and dad did not drive back then we walked every were.


NCR

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Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
« Reply #117 on: August 27, 2011, 15:21:34 »
Did anyone else find the blue lifts sinister?. I mean they seemed decrepid from the minute Pentagon opened. The kind of places you expect to find a serial killer at work. They stalled mid way then started again, creaked like hell, and were terribly claustrophobic compared to the others. Terrified me on a late night shopping trip to Bejams with Dad...

They also opened up into what appeared an "older" seedier part of the multistory. In actual fact what I mean was it was badly lit, dirty and stunk of urine - and that was in 1976!.

Now my memory is failing here. I know a large part of the Car Park went up before the Pentagon foundations were complete - was it opened prior?. Were Blue lifts thus not part of the final phase Pentagon spec per se?. Did they run to serve the car park, then when Pentagon was built on to the Car Park perhaps new entrances shopping centre side built?. Or did they just buy duff reconditioned ones, and spent a little more money on the "proper" shopping centre lifts...

There's a photo here that illustrates exactly what I mean. http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=4414.0. Not sure about '72 as a date though. At that point wasn't there a temporary car park near Fair Row?.  The multi wasn't that far developed was it?.

We used to use the temp car park behind a building site at one point (when Military road had temp shops) and I'm sure Dad started parking in the far end of the Multi before the Pentagon Centre opened.




Offline gatsovandel

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Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
« Reply #116 on: August 27, 2011, 14:30:40 »
funny, that's what reminded me the tail bit, u could sit on that. i also remember when  catching coaches to Victoria London and when the pentagon was closed   come from the taxi rank use the old escalators,and were a chain link fence would separate the closed of part of the shops. think it was national express?and were the bowling ally is now, was an old night club the was derelict for many years! know my mum and dad went there once.

davidt

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Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
« Reply #115 on: August 27, 2011, 13:29:49 »
I think you're right NCR. I don't remember it being a whale, but I definitely remember the slidey bit going from one end to the other. Perhaps I just didn't recognise it as a whale at the time!

NCR

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Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
« Reply #114 on: August 27, 2011, 09:15:02 »
It was a certainly a whale.

It's tail made a handy seat for bored kids waiting for parents.

You could swing your feet which usually meant kicking some poor mite in the head.

Had a slidey polished wood ramp inside that kids pulled themselves through from mouth to other end.

Not very hygenic by today's silly standards - can't see cleaners doing a good job on it!

Offline gatsovandel

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Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
« Reply #113 on: August 27, 2011, 01:41:10 »
i thought the other, wooden animal in the pentagon shopping centre was whale? i also know that the old escalators near sainsbury's, were total knackered to the fact the company that made them went bust and trying to find spare parts was near impossible and to costly

Rochester-bred

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Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
« Reply #112 on: August 03, 2011, 11:51:51 »
I was on my way into work in the pentagon one day back in 1980 when a drunk women was splashing about in the pool with fountain in the middle of the pentagon near Saindsburys .

mr-bins

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Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
« Reply #111 on: August 03, 2011, 11:43:12 »
Back to the kids areas, the first memories I have are of the play area outside Boots and WH Smith where the coffee shop is now.  There was lots of ride on machines which cost 10p each and were all animal themed.  The snake that you could climb through was also in this area.  The "park" was fenced off with wooden walls painted to look like jungle.  This must have been late 1980's or perhaps very early 90's.  They shut it when they opened the pirates cove upstairs, but that was never as good and the rides were more expensive.

Offline karlostg

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Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
« Reply #110 on: June 20, 2011, 12:22:18 »
Thank you so much for sharing the pictures  :)
The escalator pic reminds me of the time that my brother and I got thrown out for 'allegedly' spitting down on peoples heads from the top.

 

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