Inveterate dabbler in business, travel, gadgets & life

Clone town Britain

As an aside to my previous post about mapping the world. Here is a slightly different slant:-

Home Town or Clone Town?
“The Clone Town Britain Survey II is designed to determine whether your town has be-
come a Clone Town increasingly indistinguishable from dozens of others around the
country; or whether it survives as a Home Town, distinctive and recognisable as a
unique place.
The Clone Town Britain Survey II is simple. It should take no more than 30 minutes and
can be completed while strolling along your local high street. “

The survey can be downloaded from the New Economics Foundation here the survey needs to be returned before the end of December. Their website is at

One of the things that is very noticeable when walking abroad is the immense diversity in the high street shops in mainland Europe. Whereas here in the UK every town has had its Woolies, Boots, Marks, Coop and Smiths since I was a kid in the fifties.

So the recent Tesco desertification of the UK is nothing new, In fact the protestors on Mill Road, Cambridge conveniently forget that Tesco used to have shops on Mill Road, Fine Fare (taken over by Tesco), Fitzroy Street and Regent Street back in the 1970’s.

Reader Comments

  1. Interesting, I’ll have to fill this out. Farnborough town centre is being demolished to put in another one of these “modern” shopping-and-entertainment complexes (cinema, bars, and the same group of high street shops) and we had a conversation about this over lunch at work today.

    Incidentally, though, my wife was in Copenhagen last weekend and commented that they have Zara, Monsoon, Gap etc – all the same old big glossy chains.

    (and how much longer will towns have Woollies and WHSmiths – what’s the point of either of those shops? Woolworths in particular has seriously lost its way, IMO)

  2. Andy I agree, Cambridge has already lost its Woolies. It was just to make the point that the Tesco takeover is nothing new in the UK, I’m sure small retailers felt the same way when the Co-op was taking over in the last century.

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