THE sun beats down remorselessly, casting the dilapidated building into deep shade. Masonry paint is peeling steadily. Barred windows have been smashed. A basket of flowers adds a splash of colour to the Mediterranean scene...

Except this is not Greece or southern Italy. It's Winchester and Cross Keys Passage.

The broken windows are in the premises of the former RAOB* Club in the narrow alleyway between the High Street and Tanner Street.

Had proposals gone to plan the building was due to have been part of the Silver Hill Renaissance, Saxongate or Central Winchester Regeneration.

A new scheme is slowly lumbering back into life as has been reported in the Chronicle.

It seems a shame though that a short-term use cannot be found for the RAOB club in the meantime.

* RAOB stands for Royal Antediluvian Order of the Buffaloes, which according to Wikipedia is one of the largest fraternal movements in the United Kingdom.

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