Back in December 2014 I wrote a small piece about the much-loved Uxbridge department store, Randalls, who, after a long history in the town, were due to close. You can look at that here – https://pastrewind.wordpress.com/2014/12/13/randalls-of-uxbridge/
Then, at the end of January of the following year , I visited again, to have a look at the store in its last moments, and you can read that here https://pastrewind.wordpress.com/2015/02/01/randalls-rip/
It all seemed so long ago, which of course, it was, and at the time the expectation was that wonderful building would be transformed into a new venture, possibly with housing. Well, it has taken a long time, and possibly a challenging time with both Brexit and Covid may have slowed things down – but the good news is that the revitalised Randalls has emerged from its sleep. I visited Uxbridge with my wife, a few days ago , and was delighted to see the red illuminated letters R A N D A L L S all aglow in the distance. As we approached from the bottom of Vine Street, I could see a familiar building, looking rather smart.
However, before we all get too excited, it is worth pointing out that Randalls, as a department store is unlikely to make a return, but some form of retail space is going to be available on the ground floor, one assumes, although as you can see from the image below, it is not quite ready.
It’s worth me pointing out here that I hadn’t been given exclusive access, no, I merely put my camera up against the glass, and it was surprising I got anything, because the developer had put a vinyl mesh onto the windows, making it impossible to see through with the naked eye.
The building’s frontage has been refurbished, and includes a new period-feel clock, but a great deal has changed, with apartments built on top, to the rear, and to one side, replacing a rather drab 1950s extension, that no one will miss. That said I am not sure the new apartments are in sympathy to the original 1930’s architecture.
Around the back the old fire station building has been refurbished, with new signage.
Obviously things are not quite finished yet, so I will do another report when that happens. In the mean time, here is a link to the developer’s website – https://inlandhomes.co.uk/developments/randalls
Mark Amies, August 2021.