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Photo-a-day 181: Hartlepool’s strangest coffee shop

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Hartlepool’s Middleton Grange Shopping Centre used to be home to a Co-op department store, but the shop closed in October last year. However, in a somewhat bizarre state of affairs, the coffee shop it contained remains open. To access the coffee shop, one must walk through the empty department store.

This surely makes Eugene’s one of the strangest coffee shops in Hartlepool, if not the UK. As coffee shop locations go, the back of an empty department store is hardly the most obvious or everyday choice! Despite this, it did appear to be pulling in customers – certainly far more so than the almost deserted Esquires in a more conventional mall spot!

Quite what will happen to Eugene’s when the Co-op store is ultimately let to new tenants remains to be seen.

This 1,704th post was filed under: Photo-a-day 2012, , .

Photo-a-day 123: Broken bus stop

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Tomorrow is local election day, and politicians seem to like nothing more than talking about “broken Britain”. So, here’s a square metre or so of Britain that’s truly broken.

Not only has this bus stop sign fallen over, it’s also in the middle of nowhere: closer stops exist to both the local town and the industrial sites in the background. The road it’s beside has a speed limit of 60mph, and has a single lane in each direction: any stopped bus would cause quite the obstruction. There’s no pavement on which passengers can wait, nor anywhere for a disembarking passenger to walk. In summary, this is a broken bus stop in the middle of nowhere, with nowhere for the bus to stop, and nowhere for the passengers to wait.

So, really: what’s the point?

This 1,631st post was filed under: Photo-a-day 2012, .

Photo-a-day 102: Hartlepool nuclear power plant

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I took a slight detour from my usual commute today to rubber-neck at the Hartlepool nuclear power station. The plant crops up from time-to-time in my everyday work, especially (as well you might imagine) when discussing emergency planning.

Hartlepool’s plant produces about 3% of the UK’s electricity, and is already 3 years or so past the end of its designed lifespan. It’s been given permission to operate until 2019, by which time it’ll be a decade “out of date”. Permission has been given for it to be replaced by a more modern variant, but with the Government’s nuclear policy looking a little confused at the moment, goodness knows whether that will actually happen.

This station is especially interesting as it’s one of the world’s nearest nuclear plants to a residential area: Seaton Carew, the small but attractive seaside town where John “canoe-man” Darwin faked his own death, is little more than a mile away.

The Beeb has some interesting photos from inside the power station; or, if Teesside industry is your thing, you might want to see my photo from yesterday.

This 1,598th post was filed under: Photo-a-day 2012, , .

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