A ghost street in Nottingham

Saturday afternoon. One of the first pleasant days of spring this year. This weekend I am in Nottingham – and I decide to walk and enjoy a bit of fresh air. I vaguely use Google Maps to have a broad sense of direction, but letting myself improvise. As I catch a glimpse of a church, I turn right to get a closer look, then turn left again.

Suddenly, I realize the very particular atmosphere of the street I just turned into.

The street is absolutely desert – not a single car, not a single soul. It is very silent. It feels empty – a very strange feeling in a city.

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The ghost street.

A few abandoned plastic bags fly just above the concrete, pushed by the wind, just as the tumbleweeds roll in the Western movies.

Where are the people?

The strangest of all, is that almost all windows are barred. They have been covered with metal panels. Mostly those on the ground floors. On nearly every house.

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Almost all windows have been barred with metal panels.

I keep walking along this street, quite puzzled. I am wondering if I should be worried or not. On the one hand, this emptiness feels quite gloomy, and while I am the only living soul on this street right now, what if we suddenly were two? But on the other hand, this is a lovely spring day, and there is certainly something peaceful about this emptiness.

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It is strange to see all these windows barred, but the TV satellite still on – my initial assumption was that this street had been the theatre of numerous burglaries and the locals had locked their houses this way.

I keep walking past a cat sitting on a bin. I ask the cat where her master is, but what she meows back to me does not help my understanding of the situation.

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A cat, the only living soul on the whole street.

At the end of the street, I turn left again to get back to the main road; I look back once more, wondering what this ghost street was all about.

A Google searched solved the mystery of the ghost street: this is Arkwright Walk, a street of The Meadows area which is undergoing a complete revamp. The plan is to demolish all the properties and replace them by new, energy-efficient buildings. All the families are being relocated before the demolishing works start; currently only 6 families still live on that ghost street.

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