The posters

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Friday, 28 March 2008

Phone Boxes, St Thomas Shopping Centre

These four phone boxes are in a line, near the pub at the end of the parade of shops at St Thomas Shopping Centre. They were pretty clean inside.

Bus Stop and Cigarette Bin

Bus Stop at St Thomas Shopping Centre

Cigarette bin, beside Bus Stop
One of our It Looks Like Something From Marsh Barton stickers looked at home on this bin, next to another sticker (a Union Jack apple label)

St Thomas Shopping Centre


St Thomas Shopping Centre

The shopping centre is designed in a horse-shoe shape, with a parade of small shops along three sides of the car-park. The fourth side of the car-park fronts on to the main road and the bus stop. The parade is covered by a white roof structure, attached to the shops like a porch, but is open to the elements apart from this, like a regular paved area. Most of the shops are independant. There are a few recognizeable brands - a Natwest and HSBC bank, and a Somerfield Supermarket. Because the shops are small there are actually quite a lot of them, and a wide variety of types of shops.

I walked around the parade starting at the side where the Natwest bank is.
On the first side of the parade I handed out flyers to shoppers. It was quite busy, though not at all crowded. I walked past an Optometrist, Newsagents, Pet Shop, amongst others on this side. At the first corner there was a cafe, with two tables outside. I gave flyers to a large group of women having coffee together, and to another table of customers.

I continued around the second side of the parade. I passed an HSBC, a Coral Bookmakers, Exeter Hair and Beauty salon, and stopped at Stokes Green Grocers. At Stokes I bought some fruit - there were boxes outside you could help yourself from, and inside the shop it was also self service. There was a very wide variety of fresh fruit and vegetables. I bought a Chinese Pear, a mandarin and one other fruit (I forget what). The lady at the counter packed them in a plastic bag for me. The bag is unique to Stokes - on one side it has a big strawberry, with
written across it, on a pink circle. Around the strawberry it says
Helping to promote lifelong healthy eating habits
and at the bottom of the bag it says
Environmentally Friendly Bag 100% Degradable
On the other side of the bag it says
and also gives the website address
The lettering on this side for 'Stokes' is green with a red apple forming the 'O'. It's a very nice bag.
I saw that there is a notice board in the shop, but the lady serving me said she was not allowed to put any posters on it. She agreed, however, to put a poster on the staff notice board, and seemed very happy to do this.
Stokes has a green and white striped canopy over the shop front, which makes it distinctive from a distance.

Next door is Martin’s Newsagents. Martin’s has two ‘customer ads’ notice boards. They are not really notice boards, more of a card holder, where you can slot in a postcard. Most ads were handwritten, advertising items for sale. There were also ads for guitar lessons and Karate, and a printed ad for a Man & Van Service. I paid to advertise two cards for two weeks. The cards would be put up the following day (20th March).

The third side of the parade consists mainly of Somerfield Supermarket, a cafĂ© and on the corner there is a pub. Beyond the pub, at the corner of the carpark, is a large brick-built flower bed, large enough to sit on the wall of. On the outside edge of the flower bed is a row of Phone Boxes. I sat on the wall to have my lunch – it was sunny and just warm enough today. A few other people also sat on the low wall - one young woman had been eating her lunch and then talked on her mobile for a long time (all the time I was there she talked to her boyfriend – I saw them meet up later near the bus stop), another woman sat and ate lunch then left, and another woman came looking for a light.

Opposite the bus stop, on the other side of the road, is the St Thomas Post Office. I inquired whether they would display a poster in the window, as they already had a display of various posters on show there. The man I spoke to told me that he was happy to take the poster, though he could not be sure if it would be displayed as they had to have an audit of the posters in the next few days and then decide which could go back in the window - it was out of his hands. It sounded a very complicated, thought-out process. Did the poster get put up? Perhaps you saw it, if it did.

Toilet Roll in the Ladies

Sticker attached to large toilet roll in the women's toilet, St Thomas.
(click on the image to view it larger - the text is legible)

Ladies Toilet Cubicle

These toilets appear like a 'gateway' to Saint Thomas, as they are housed inside the railway bridge, which crosses the main road leading into St Thomas. The entrance is on the St Thomas side for the women's, and on the Exeter side for the men's. The women's toilets were clean and well stocked with a large roll of toilet paper. There were miniature wash basins in the communal area, with automatic soap and hot-air dispensers.

Exe Bridge Cafe

Flyers were left on the counter at Exe Bridge Cafe, for customers to take away.
It was approaching lunch time when I visited, and customers were already tucking into substantial dinner-type lunches with food like mashed potato, meat stews and vegetables.
An A4 poster will be displayed in the window (hopefully)

Car Park Near Western Way

A flyer dissemination location en route to Saint Thomas'
Car Park with TK Max, Boots Chemist and Pizza Hut

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

TK Max Car Park

Flyers and stickers were given to three schoolgirls in the carpark, who were sitting on a wall working on clip boards.
Flyers also deposited on car windscreens, and on discarded Fruit Shoot package on the tarmac.

Steak Pasty Sticker

Steak Pasty package, discarded on the pavement of the bridge that is part of the Western Way roundabout complex, taking you from Exeter town centre in the direction of St Thomas.

Other items were disseminated at this location - 'it's like something from Marsh Barton' stickers were given to two teenage boys, which they stuck to their jumpers; flyers were also handed out to passing pedestrians. Notably, there were many Mums and babies with prams, also a woman in a mobility vehicle, though she was going too fast to give a flyer to.

The Western Way Roundabout – Gateway to Marsh Barton

We entered Marsh Barton from the north. It is positioned about a mile south of Exeter town centre, below Exeter St. David’s. The Western Way bypass road bisects Exeter from the river and Marsh Barton, with a massive roundabout forming a broad zone of no-man’s land cutting off Marsh Barton from the scenic historical centre. Portions of the city’s ancient city wall and other archaeological excavations are isolated and encircled within the concrete structures of the zone, and are accessible only through a network of eerily empty pathways and footbridges. The sense of a dividing zone or separation chamber is articulated for the pedestrian through the underpasses and overhead footbridge that span the sweep of the roundabout junction. The lonely arcs of concrete outline this boundary of social and geographical history. We are channelled through a route designed to accommodate pedestrians in close proximity to the slew of traffic. It feels anachronistic, like inhabiting someone’s futuristic dream; as if the developers thought we might come down here to view the beautifully moving stream of cars, and that our desire to reach Marsh Barton would be incidental. The exhilaration of the Western Way roundabout itself is enough. We are made aware of our tiny scale in this inhospitable environment. Yet it is a haven from the commerce of the city, and stands in contrast to that other encircled zone, the Cathedral Close. We must enter this Stalker-esque zone of transition and uncertainty if we are to reach Marsh Barton.

Note: The Western Way Roundabout is also a grand gesture. It was built by Devon County Council as an act of revenge against Exeter City Council, with who they were continually in conflict.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Flyering on the Western Way

I crossed the island of Archaeological remains - walking across the top of the ancient Exeter Bridge, now encircled within a grassed area, within a roundabout - and reached a mid point in the Western Way roundabout/pedestrian subway complex.  I chose this point to distribute flyers to passing pedestrians.  Despite the location being in the midst of an expansive and complicated traffic system, there were quite a few walkers navigating the subways and pavements.