Well after forty years, East St shopping centre in Southampton is finally being demolished.
I remember back in 1999 when I started at Southampton City College, walking through the centre to get to college and smelling the food cooking in the cafe and hearing my footfalls echo off the high roof.
The place was pretty dead even back then, it only had a handful of shops; a music shop where I used to buy my music books, a couple of furniture shops, a cafe and a newsagents where I would buy a bakewell tart every morning to give me the sugar rush I needed to get through college!.
But, in recent years, it has been truly abandoned, serving only to act as a shortcut to St Marys street and the college or the Royal Oak pub. For those curious what it looked like inside, here is a good video showing it:
The centre is now boarded up blocking viewing from the outside but before they did that, you could see that they were removing the ceilings from the shops inside and stacking the framework in the seating area and inside “The Hole” which would have regularly been explored by kids back in the day!.As I stated in a previous post, the external demolition is something I would like to see, kind of a farewell to an old friend. Soon after, we will be getting a shiny new Morrisons which will create lots of jobs and restore the pedestrian link between East st and St Mary’s St (see here for the plans).
I managed to get in there and take some photos before they closed the doors for good, I hope any Urban Explorer’s out there find them interesting!