Originally, because I didn't have a working camera, this page used only
photographs that had been supplied to me by the council. After that I bought a Jenptik JD11, which
was a very cheap digital, and the pictures (most of those on this page and the next) needed
to be enhanced by software, and some subjects could not be taken.
Now I have a new camera - again, it was fairly cheap, but the quality is infinitely better. It's a Fujifilm 2200, and as its name suggests, it has a 2.1 megapixel resolution. An example of the freedom it gives is the picture of Charles Square by night on the next page.
Perhaps, because it is a new town, Bracknell has a reputation
for being a bit of a dump. Architecturally I wouldn't
argue with that - although there are some well-designed
areas. But in terms of living here a recent survey showed that
the vast majority of people here really like
Bracknell, and are generally satisfied with their housing,
with the facilities and with the town itself. Not only
that, we have an exceptionally low crime rate as well.
So all in all, it's not too bad a place to be.
Each of these images is less than 20k in size. But even so, the page will take a while to load, because there are quite a few of them.
Bracknell has three water sculptures, but only one of them is a fountain. The large ball
floats on jets of water, and can be rotated in any direction with minimal pressure.
The building in the background is a pub - 'The Bull'.
This is where I spend quite a lot of time. The Housing, Social Services and Planning departments of the Borough Council in Market Street.
|The post office is one of the few original buildings that were here before Bracknell became a New Town. In those days it fronted the High Street, which was about three feet higher than it is now. The sorting office is due for demolition, and there are plans for a large building containing an office, a pub and some residential development.|
|This is the same view, photographed over a year later on 11th January, 2002. The framework of the new building is under construction.|
|It's taking a long time, but it's getting there ... This was the view on June 29th.|
|Here is the new building, pictured in March, 2007|
|This is how the sorting office site looked on 5th January, 2002|
|... and here it is, just about finished, in November 2002.|
|An up-to-date view of 'The Bull' and the office of the Town Council.|
|Charles Square. The clock fountain also tells the time, if you can work out how to read it.|
The 'forest' in Bracknell Forest's name was originally part
of the large Windsor Forest. Now it covers only about a fifth of
the area of the borough.
These cyclists were caught in what was clearly a completely unposed shot, not far from Caesar's Camp, the site of an iron age settlement.
Bracknell's shame ... This is the view that greets the visitor not long after he gets off the train. On the left, the bus station. Then Princess Square car park, and in the background Ocean House. Soon he plunges into one of Bracknell's many subways, and after that things start to improve.
A couple of views of Crossway. Bracknell town centre is completely pedestrianised.
|The pedestrianisation means that the town centre is circled by the Inner Ring road, which is a constraint on development. The market, held on Friday and Saturdays, bursts out by running under the Inner Ring.|
|A view inside the market, busy on a Friday afternoon.|
Bracknell is a town of ...
This is another pub, The Red Lion.
As the western side of Bracknell becomes ever more developed,
Mill Pond remains an increasingly valuable asset.
It is currently the home of a new McDonald's eating-house. We had thought they had dropped their plans for a drive-thru, but at the time of writing they have put in a planning application.
|Mill Pond on a misty morning, October 2001|
This is somewhere else where I spend a great deal of
time - the council offices in Town Square, opposite the
police station and the magistrates courts.
A proposed new development of a massive retail, leisure and residential area would have completely covered this part of the town, but after a public inquiry the scheme has been rejected. Work is progressing on a new scheme.
Bracknell is situated in the heart of Britain's Silicon Valley,
so it is appropriate that the council should use the most
state-of-the art transport. This is an example of the
latest council vehicle - two horsepower, amazingly economical
on petrol, and while it's not quite non-polluting, the service
costs are very low.
Everybody in Bracknell knows the names of Bracken and Bramble - and those are the horses, incidentally, and not the drivers!
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