Marton Road Changes Discussion

Drawing upon what you have learned about city road, outline some of the ways in which differences are made and remade on a street that you know.

For this assignment I have chosen to discuss Marton Road, Middlesbrough, which has changed greatly over the past twenty years. It has evolved from a small range of independent shops to a wide mix of big name convenience stores as well as a number of individually owned shops such as hair dressers and takeaways. The road has a couple of social hubs that can include all social backgrounds, such as the Methodist church (hall) and the local Working man’s club.Some of the original buildings date from 1909 and contrast sharply with the newly built stores and houses that have arisen lately.

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The road itself is approximately five miles long. The area I will focus on is from the social club up to James Cook University Hospital which is roughly 1 mile long. It is mainly a working class area with varied social backgrounds. The street itself has a number of different shops varying from hair dressers to bakers to big chain convenience stores like Tesco, Aldi and Spar.

I intend to discuss how the shops/facilities have changed as well as the social uses and also the migration aspects, which is in part due to the evolving local area such as the huge Hospital expansion and its effect on the original local population. In the City Road study materials it discusses the effects of the opening of a Tesco store, which for some was unwelcome due to the concerns over the economic impact it would have on the smaller family run stores like Auto Trader (Making Social Sciences, 2009, scene 3).Marton Road shops has had the same influx of these bigger chains namely Tesco, Aldi and Spa. The recent arrival of Tesco Express has put considerable pressure on smaller stores, some of which have been around for many years and have been passed down for generations, however there is still a Post Office and a more recent convenience store that have managed to survive despite the increased competition.

Because of the new big names arriving, choice has greatly increased and saves people time and effort.They no longer have to travel to town to get their shopping and can enjoy a rejuvenated street. Another interesting change of use is the Bell Vue Methodist Church. This was once solely for practicing worshipers.

Two years ago they built a hall and this allowed enhanced social inclusion. Dr Blakeley points out that Taste Buds cafe on City Road “creates a sense of safety” (‘Making social lives on City Road’, 2009, scene 3) and this can also be said of the new Methodist church hall. It is used by people and groups who are not particularly religious i. e.

Slimming World and Brownies. Also on Saturdays a small market is used for local traders to have a flea market. Marton Road has developed in the past ten years in part because the hospital expansion. This has brought a lot of migration to the area.

From what was a working class area you now find a more professional type of worker using the local amenities. Marton Road has gone from a white dominated area to one of mixed race in a relatively short time. The difference from ten years ago is it has brought more wealth and encouraged the bigger names to arrive.It has also encouraged more new house builders to arrive and give the area a ‘face lift’ encouraging higher living standards of all who live in the area.

However there is still a lot of poverty in the area and this can cause friction because of rising rents, house prices and jobs being taken by the more skilled immigrant. In Bauman’s terms he calls these people “the repressed”(page28, chapter 1, Making Social Lives) and this can lead them to be being excluded and only frequenting the street at night to buy cheap alcohol and use the bus stop as a local ‘meeting point’ which is a common sight on Marton Road and most city streets.In conclusion over the past ten to twenty years Marton Road has evolved and grew in a number of ways. From having a limited shopping service that meant people had to travel to the town centre for the weekly shop or having to push further afield for social events, we now find that aided by expansion and immigration shops and centres evolve to meet the needs of the current population i.

. the new ethnic mix. This means overall standards and choice has grown and have benefited from migration. Though it could be said some people will always fall by the wayside and imagine a history, longing for the past(Dr Georgina Blakely, making social lives, scene 3) without realising how much things have evolved better and actually falling into Bauman’s stereotype.

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