Saturday, 7 January 2012

Just the place to shop

Below is my “Big Day Out” column from the Saturday, January 7, 2012, Swansea edition of the South Wales Evening Post.




















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Just the place to shop
A big day out!
RICHARD THOMAS heads to the Quadrant Shopping Centre in Swansea.

WHY? Still decorated for the holiday season, the Quadrant Shopping Centre is the best place to shop for new year bargains in Swansea.
WHAT’S THE BUZZ? In the Quadrant you’ll find all the UK’s best chain stores including fashion and clothing stores Republic and Debenhams, as well as HMV and The Game where you can buy all the latest digital entrainment. In The Works you’ll find a wide range of discount books and Store Manager Chloe Lees and her staff will help you find the perfect book to start your reading list for 2012. There’s even a Disney shop selling toys of all your favourite cartoon characters and a Menkind store just next door where you’ll find all kinds of amusing gadgets.
ANY HISTORY? The heart of Swansea’s city centre where the Quadrant is located was bombed severely in 1941 in what has become known as “Three Nights Blitz.” Forty one acres of the city centre and 857 premises were destroyed beyond repair by the German Luftwaffe and the bombing necessitated the complete rebuilding of the city centre. The Quadrant was opened in 1979.
WHAT TO TAKE? All you need is your wallet and some carrier bags if you don’t like getting charged the extra 5p per bag. There is also a small charge for parking in the adjacent multi-storey car park, but until mid January this is just £1 for four hours instead of the usual £4.50. Food is available in the different cafes and restaurants in the Quadrant.
LOOK OUT FOR? The Quadrant is home to the Swansea Devil or Old Nick, a bizarre carved wooden statue of the Devil. The controversial Swansea icon dates back to the 1890s when it was decided that St. Mary's Church in the centre of Swansea would be rebuilt. When the design of the London architect Sir Arthur Blomfield was chosen instead of that of a Swansea artist, the local man took it as a snub at his talent. Angry, he bought a row of cottages adjacent to the church and tore them down. In their place he erected a red brick building to house the brewery offices, on which he placed a carving of the Devil, facing the church. He is reputed to have said: “When your church is destroyed and burnt to the ground my devil will remain laughing.” St. Mary’s Church was bombed during the war but the building on which Old Nick was mounted stayed standing throughout the war.
WHEN TO GO? There are always a lot of exciting events and promotions happening throughout the year at the Quadrant. The shopping complex is open most days between 9am and 6pm. On Wednesday they close at 7pm and on Sundays the are open between 11am and 5pm. The open hours of the individual stores varies, however.
TELL ME MORE: You can find the Quadrant in Swansea’s city centre, next door to the city bus station. For sat nav users their postcode is SA1 3QW.
For more information visit the Quadrant Shopping website at www.quadrantshopping.co.uk.

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