Update 1st Nov 2016: Closed: Stairway Bakery and Coffee Shop at Fryern Arcade
Original post (below):
Where is the centre of Chandler’s Ford?
Janet posted this question on Streetlife last week, which triggered a wave of responses.
One contribution posted on Streetlife asked what had happened to the public toilets located beneath the Fryern Arcade Shopping Centre in the “tunnel” through to the car park at the rear.
The toilets were closed several years ago and I am happy to shed some light on the reasons why that happened.
Who cleaned and maintained the public toilets beneath the Fryern Arcade?
The responsibility for cleaning and maintaining the public toilets beneath the Fryern Arcade was undertaken, rather unusually, on a voluntary basis by the commercial lease holders within the Fryern Arcade.
These shopkeepers met on a monthly basis to discuss the various challenges and opportunities of running their community businesses. They formed The Fryern Tenants (or was it Traders) Association and my ex-wife Caroline Coleman (nee Thomas) was Chair of their Association.
Duties of Fryern Tenants / Traders Association
The Association were responsible for organising Market Days in the top car park where outside traders would set up stalls to sell all sorts of goodies, a bit like the Farmers Markets that are a feature in Eastleigh, Romsey and Winchester.
The Association also used to set up special events at Christmas, all designed to attract local residents to the Arcade which in turn benefitted their own businesses – happy days.
Who owned Stairway Bakery at the Fryern Arcade?
Caroline, who some regular customers reading this may remember, was the owner of The Stairway Bakery. She bought the business in the 90s after it went into Receivership and through her hard work, re-instated a much-loved local bakery and coffee shop popular with so many local people.
Over the years Caroline set up a sandwich bar inside the bakery which went on to become “Sandeli” (Sandwich + Deli).
Together, we later developed a small chain of Sandeli sandwich bars in towns around South Hampshire until we went our separate ways in 2005. Many of these stand-alone sandwich bars have not only since changed hands but changed their trading names.
However, I am pleased to say the original of these successful stand-alone businesses continues to thrive under Simon & Paula Wrankmore’s enthusiastic ownership at 149A Hursley Road at the corner of Common Road.
Story of the Fryern Arcade public toilets
The Fryern Tenants/Traders Association operated successfully for years. They decided to appoint a local man to keep the toilets presentable and the shopkeepers, who had happily run their businesses within the Fryern Arcade over the years, covered the cost. As the shops changed hands, some of the new arrivals objected to paying for the cleaner feeling it was not their responsibility.
Whether the Fryern Tenants (or Traders) Association still continues to meet, I cannot answer but 10 years ago, as the nature of the traders’ relationships began to change, funding of the cleaning of the public toilets eventually dried up.
Who should cover the cost of toilet maintenance?
I can recall Caroline and her fellow traders feeling that one solution to the problem of ensuring sufficient on-going funding for the maintenance of the toilets would have been for the London-based Landlords to include the cleaner’s costs within the Service Charge as a formal obligation within the terms of the traders’ leases, legally ensuring the on-going funding and provision of this very convenient facility!
The future of the public toilets at the Fryern Arcade
Perhaps today’s leaseholders at The Fryern Arcade would be prepared to enter this debate and let us all know whether the Landlords might not re-visit this whole question. Re-opening the public toilets for shoppers would certainly add benefit for not only parking at the Fryern Arcade but also using the shops there.
It would be one way of making the Fryern Arcade a more attractive option rather than encouraging those who find themselves crossing their legs from hurrying over to Waitrose who do offer this convenience to their customers.
Related posts on the Fryern Arcade, Chandler’s Ford:
- New Grover Butchers At Fryern Arcade
- Fryern Arcade: Butchers And Post Office
- Fryern Arcade WH Smith Local & Post Office Open
- Fryern Arcade Post Office: Open 7 Days A Week?
- What Had Happened To The Fryern Arcade Public Toilets?
- Fryern Arcade D & G Hardware Store
- Fryern Arcade Old And New
- Fryern Arcade’s Fresh Look: MIBI, D & G
- Fryern Arcade In Chandler’s Ford: Major Changes Are Coming
- Buying Christmas Trees At Fryern Arcade
- “We’re Sorry To Be Leaving Fryern…But…”
- Where Is The Centre Of Chandler’s Ford?
- How I love Your Comments
- Coffee And Free WiFi In Chandler’s Ford
- In Love With Chandler’s Ford Coffee Shops
- D & G Hardware: From Canberra To Chandler’s Ford
- Nostalgia: My Stamp Collection
- The Big Issue In Chandler’s Ford
- The Myth Of Thomas The Tank Engine
- Who Are The Heavenly Knitters in Chandler’s Ford?
- Table Hogging