I grew up in Aldershot, am proud to say that’s where I hail from. Aldershot used to be the home of the Army. Wellington settled the troops there after Waterloo. Aldershot was a Historic Military Town in the truest sense.
This weekend I have been participating in a sentimental trip down memory lane on Facebook in a group setup by Keith Bean, an Aldershot local. We have been remembering our teachers, the football team’s struggles, the trouble we used to get into, and how far away from Aldershot many of us now live. Some of us moved to other parts of England, some of us ended up down under in Australia and others like myself are in America.
Even though I am half way around the world in glorious, afluent Orange County, I still care about the place I grew up. I really wish Aldershot could rise like a phoenix from the ashes and become a thriving metropolis.
Here’s a little video taken inside Aldershot’s Wellington Centre mall, the main mall in the town center. When I visited the town after 25 years back in 2008 it looked the same, and this video made a year ago November 12th confirms the place is a ghost town. It makes me sad to see the place I grew up going through such hard times.
When the Army left, it blasted a gaping hole into the infrastructure which had kept the town going for many years. The town had been in general decline for decades, but the Army leaving was the final nail in the coffin.
Here’s a two-part documentary I filmed back in 2008 in Aldershot.
I hope there is some master plan that we don’t all know about which includes a solution which will turn the situation around in Aldershot.
Hat’s off to Keith Bean for creating such a vibrant group.