So I was in Baldock today, taking the car in for its MOT, and was left with more than an hour to kill pottering around town and seeing what there is to see.
Apparently founded by the Knights Templars in the 12th Century, it’s got a suitably historic town centre with lots of remarkably unscathed architecture.
What look like the survivors of mediaeval merchants’ houses extend back endlessly from the street, cheek-by-jowl with the best that Georgian and Victorian-civic styles have to offer.
But poke around for a while and all is not well. For every thriving gem of a building, there seems to be another shuttered and semi-derelict, its internal floors reduced to bare joists and its windows boarded up.
It’s rather a shame, and it makes you fear what might be coming down the line for this wonderful street scene as the economic screw tightens.
Anyway, here are some photos – the good, the bad and the bizarre.