Neil Armstrong Shopping Mall

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Neil Armstrong Shopping Mall
Name Neil Armstrong Shopping Mall
Location Blackbury
Use Mall
Appearance It's better if you don't think about it.
Founded by
Books Only You Can Save Mankind
Johnny and the Bomb
Johnny and the Dead

A location in Blackbury where Johnny Maxwell and his friends hang out. Although the name and the location mean nothing, as this is the sort of identikit concrete shopping prison sentence (as opposed to "shopping experience") you find in just about every Northern English town these days.

Cheap and nasty, the English shopping mall is like any other English attempt to copy American style: it manages to miss all the virtues and magnifies the flaws. Americans confronted with the Manchester Arndale or Stockport merseyway find it hard to be diplomatic or polite.

A real-life Neil Armstrong Mall

The Merseyway Shopping Centre in Stockport[1] was one of the first attempts to build an American-style shopping mall in England in 1965.

Locals liken it to an open prison built over a stagnant swamp (it capitalised on the lack of open land in the town centre by paving over the River Mersey, which runs directly underneath and in fact was a stagnant swamp in 1965. The inevitable has happened since - the river underneath has eroded the banks and supports that underpinned Merseyway, and expensive rescue work had to be done to shore it up. A bridge connecting the two opposite blocks of retail shops had to be discreetly dismantled lest it collapse, as a result of the natural action of the river underneath.)

The official site carries few photographs, virtually all of which were taken in high summer in the recently refurbished and far smaller covered section of the mall. The one that wasn't shows happy smiling primary school children, and reveals nothing of the grey Soviet-Bloc feel of the rest of the place. Stalin would have been proud several times over.