Tumbleweed and cannonshot

When the WynnumCentral editor arrived in Wynnum from south of the border just over eight years ago, the main attraction was a great waterside location and a house that was affordable and suitable for a young family. It scored well on both counts and continues to do so.

But the whole ‘shopping locally’ thing took a bit of a blow when there was a sudden need to nip out to the shops to get some essentials at 3pm on a Saturday. Driving into Wynnum and along Edith Street it was glaringly apparent that Wynnum was shut at the weekend. Tumbleweed could have blown down the street and a proverbial cannon (like the one outside the library) could have been shot the length of Wynnum with no likelihood of anyone being hit. A swift u-turn at the end of the street and your editor was heading straight for Wynnum Plaza, never to return to central Wynnum at the weekend.

And in all probability this scene has been repeated for many a new arrival in Wynnum (and there have been thousands). More trade for Wynnum Plaza and Capalaba and Oxford Street in Bulimba and nothing for Wynnum. When Wynnum Central State School merged into the new school in Boxgrove Avenue, another reason for coming into Wynnum for parents of the kids disappeared.

Wynnum traders have adjusted to the dwindling number of shoppers by either closing completely or drastically reducing shop opening hours. A cursory look at our ‘Who’s Open‘ page shows that, of the 54 retailers listed so far (mainly Edith Street shops), only 10 are open beyond 2pm on a Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately not a recipe for a thriving retail hub.

By all accounts, thirty years ago Wynnum was the place to go shopping for people living south of Brisbane. It had three cinemas and on a Saturday there was hardly room to move on the pavements (we’d love to hear from you if you have memories of Wynnum when it was like this).

The rise of the air-conditioned shopping mall was at the expense of high street shopping locations. But the high street is making a return for a different, independent sort of shopper. Wynnum has the beginnings of a arty, crafty, vintage feel, and has a number of art galleries, tucked away a little maybe, but they’re there.

WynnumCentral is all about helping Wynnum enjoy the resurgence everyone has been waiting for. We don’t blame anyone who has lived in the area for a while for a jaded view of yet another ‘plan’ to bring Wynnum back to life. But we’re beginning to see some good signs and if we can artificially ‘inject’ some life into Wynnum at the weekends with some good events, this has to be a start. The first of these will be an art, craft, vintage and retro market in Edith Street, planned to start in September. Don’t worry, we’ll keep you posted!

Image credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cannon_pic.jpg

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