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Barton is 'on the up' say community leaders

By citizenmike  |  Posted: March 10, 2014

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Sainsbury's Local Manager Graham Bocking with staff member Manjit Kalcutt outside the store in Barton

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CULTURAL diversity is key to Barton as it shrugs off the negative image of the past and embraces a newfound success.

Business leaders from around Barton have spoken out in support of their area after shopkeeper Krishnaventhan Thiyagarajah said he was plagued by crime at TKS Food and Wine Store.

Graham Bocking, manager at Sainsbury’s, which opened up seven months ago, said: “Barton is a great community which is definitely on the up and we are doing all we can to help with that.

“More people are coming to this area. We’ve been so busy, going at breakneck speed.”

He said that the store had an important role to play in its community work. Food waste goes to animals at St James’ City Farm, discontinued ‘back to school’ products were given to a Barton school and the store paid for food for last year’s cultural fair. They have just forked out for new goalposts in the park too.

Dashti Mohammad, owner of Aland Barbers, said: “Everything is great about Barton. We have been here for seven or eight years now and we’ve never had any trouble.

“Whatever you want, you can find it here in Barton. People come from all over to come to the food stores or for a haircut.

“Many years ago it was a rough area but not anymore. There’s a nice community here with people from every background.”

Property developer Saqib Rasul is among those turning around Barton’s image, having recently taken on the project of reopening the former Picturedrome theatre.

The venue is a testament to Barton’s cultural past.

In 1986, the Gloucester Operatic and Dramatic Society moved into the building and re-opened it as the New Olympus Theatre. But in its early days the Picturedrome was a hugely popular cinema and in 1947 for the first showing of Gone with the Wind queues stretched all along Victoria

Street.

Theatre historian Jean Holmer said: “Patrons queued for four hours and those at the back of the

queue still didn’t get to see the film as the last showing had started by the time they reached the front of the queue.”

Old pictures have also been sourced by the Barton and Tredworth Community Heritage project which show the Barton Fair of 1903 and 1904.

The area also appoints a Mock Mayor each year, which is an ancient role thought to date back to as early as the Civil War. The current mayor is Peter Wilson, a BBC radio presenter.

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5 comments

  • Snappy_Happer  |  March 10 2014, 8:44PM

    The Picturedrome has had the same posters left in the doors since last summer, so how busy can they be? At least pull them down... For the rest, a lot of opportunities to motivate the community have been missed, but I guess we're downplaying the apathy today.

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  • Apothegm_  |  March 10 2014, 7:51PM

    Oh, come on, Kay - you are surely not expecting either accuracy or fact-checking?!

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  • Kay_Powell  |  March 10 2014, 6:29PM

    In which park are the new goalposts? Gone with the Wind was 1939, not 1947, so was probably released in the UK in 1940. Where do these facts come from?

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  • GlostaBoy123  |  March 10 2014, 5:30PM

    Barton is a great community, there are people living here from all over the world such as India, Poland, Jamaica, Slovakia, China, Bangladesh, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Nigeria and many more. This gives the area a nice multicultural feeling. On Barton Street there Barber Shops, Grocerie Stores, Theatre, Tatoo Shop, Takeaways, Furniture Shops, Mobile Repair shops. I have lived in the area for over 15 years and have not had any issues, however it has been given bad press in the past. This leads people to thinking the area is bad without experiencing for themselves. There are problems such as littering, anti social behaviour but this is the problem in many areas. Barton Street one of the busiest streets as it is in the City Centre and gateway to areas in Gloucester, this means there alot of people using the street to travel thus leading to a higher potential of crime.

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  • GlostaBoy123  |  March 10 2014, 5:29PM

    Barton is a great community, there are people living here from all over the world such as India, Poland, Jamaica, Slovakia, China, Bangladesh, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Nigeria and many more. This gives the area a nice multicultural feeling. On Barton Street there Barber Shops, Grocerie Stores, Theatre, Tatoo Shop, Takeaways, Furniture Shops, Mobile Repair shops. I have lived in the area for over 15 years and have not had any issues, however it has been given bad press in the past. This leads people to thinking the area is bad without experiencing for themselves. There are problems such as littering, anti social behaviour but this is the problem in many areas. Barton Street one of the busiest streets as it is in the City Centre and gateway to areas in Gloucester, this means there alot of people using the street to travel thus leading to a higher potential of crime.

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