Big Issue: Richard Powell on why Gloucester has much to be proud of
HAVING been involved in selling residential properties in and around Gloucester for more than 30 years, I just don't understand negative comments about our city.
Have these "downers" had had a good look around other cities in the UK?
Apart from the Cathedral, the Docks, a number of very impressive listed buildings, a first-class rugby team and some excellent recent commercial and residential developments, we are incredibly well placed geographically.
Sometimes too well placed as all my in-laws from around the country descend on us as we are easy to get to.
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They also rather like Gloucester.
There are so many other positives to comment on – I haven't mentioned education, but we must have the best choice of schools anywhere.
Yes, we have got some pound shops and some charity shops.
What's wrong with having the opportunity to help charities and buy some great bargains?
We are seeing some of the big name stores moving in to the area today, but nobody wants to shout about it.
What a fantastic entrance to the city from the west coming past the "Lighthouse" on Westgate Island. Or haven't you noticed it?
We had the derelict former cattle market on St Oswald's Road for years – look what we have now.
I would be the first to admit that some of the 1960s redevelopment was pretty awful, but these blots on the Gloucester landscape are slowly disappearing and will continue to do so.
I was recently talking to a local man who was decrying Gloucester and particularly the regeneration of the Docks and the Quays development.
The comment was: "I see scaffolding is up on the retail outlet, already carrying out repairs."
No, completely wrong.
The scaffolding is up on part of the Quays carrying out the further development to provide a new 10-screen cinema and restaurants and to the front we are having new, improved signage.
Someone has obviously got confidence in our city.
And if we are going to get on about the Docks, all I can say is I love getting in to work every day in our office in the Docks.
I know I am biased, but what better place can there be to live or work?
I know it can't be all good, nothing is.
Perhaps we can work on the "not so good areas" and improve them.
All in all, I think we are pretty lucky to live in such a great city.
I am most definitely not into clichés, but perhaps it helps that my glass is always half full.