Page last updated at 11:35 GMT, Wednesday, 15 April 2009 12:35 UK

The changing face of the High Street

Woolworths in Muswell Hill

Blogger Martin Belam has been recording changes to his local High Street in north London. A fortnight ago, he photographed shop fronts and compared them with images on Google Street View taken last summer. The demise of Woolworths gave him the idea.

A grocery in Muswell Hill

Smaller businesses have also found it tough. "This shop closed after I moved here six months ago. I bought some bread there once," says Belam, who passes these shops twice a day on the bus.

Broadway shop in Crouch End

Broadway, a women's clothes shop in Crouch End, has halved in size and one unit remains empty. Concerns have been raised about the number of empty shops across the UK, raising fears of "ghost towns".

Specsavers in Muswell Hill

"There are a high number of independent retailers, so perhaps pinning it down to the credit crunch isnít fair but itís still interesting to see the changes in such a short time." Proving it's not all gloom, what was an empty shop is now a Specsavers.

Myers furniture shop in Crouch End

Some shops have changed use, rather than remaining derelict. This furniture shop has closed while the premises undergoes renovations and it's not yet clear whether it will reopen as a different business or the same one.

Fine Burger Company in Muswell Hill

The Fine Burger Company has closed its Muswell Hill branch but the chain has opened new restaurants elsewhere. "It will be interesting to look back at this area in five or 10 years," says Belam. Maybe other people will do the same for other areas, he says.

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