Things change – but we can never agree on how

By Nik Butler

Comedian Steven Wright said “Everywhere is walking distance if you have enough time” and, now the 40 is Fine car owners have left the article, let’s talk about time.

Specifically, let’s talk about time in Horsham district and how places have been changing. Prompted by the recent posting of the A264 from Google Street view within the Horsham Facebook page (http://facebook.com/horsham.uk), I was struck by how quickly we adapt to our landscape being turned over.

Another example exists by taking a virtual stroll down Rusper Road, where you see the swing gates of Littlehaven station are now replaced by plastic and metal automated barriers. Change is inevitable yet it is how things change that we rarely appear to agree upon.

I watch protests against greenfield developments which are in turn created by individuals whose own houses were Greenfield sites not more than thirty years before. I see people complain about having no time to get things done despite having exactly the same amount of hours and minutes as our ancestors. The innovation of gadgets, time savers, time slicers and re-schedulers has broken our days into slivers of experience delivered on 5 inch screens into which our faces are focused like monks at benediction.

Horsham has changed, it is changing, and it will continue to change. Go look to the nostalgia photographs posted elsewhere in this paper and try to imagine standing in that moment. No Costa Coffee, no mobile phones, no dishwashers or washing machines and all the core utilities delivered to your house at the flick of a control and just as much rush and endeavor to get things done against those daily deadlines. They simply did not tweet about it.

Now imagine this moment captured on Instagram and delivered sixty years from now showing what will by then be the past and how much simpler things were. The only aspect of life that cannot be held up for scrutiny by planning departments or investment from big retail is our own reactions to that change.

Stand for a few minutes in the busy Horsham Market and you may have forgotten or  maybe you’re unaware that buses and cars ran through it. East street might be a little more fresh in the minds of the locals but I wonder how long it will be before we take walking through to the west end development for granted ?


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