A Burton shopping centre received the Christmas present it had been waiting for in December 1992.

Worthington Walk shopping centre opened around Christmas time in 1987 but, apart from one day, the centre had never run at full capacity.

But just in time for Christmas in 1992, all the shops were finally occupied.

Worthington Walk centre manager Sue Walton said: "We've had some bad luck really. We have only ever traded completely for one full day and that was when Wigfalls sold out to Dixons.

"While we have been receiving rent for the empty unit, an empty shop had a negative effect on the general feeling of the centre.

"The unit wasn't illuminated so it didn't help the fellow traders."

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The overall success of the new shopping centre was down to the popularity of "everyday shops," according to Mrs Walton.

She said: "We've got a butcher and a baker. It's not all up-market but is ideal for many Burton shoppers who like everyday shops. The same old boys come in and sit down – it's a very friendly place to shop."

Unfortunately, despite this Christmas joy, the future of the centre was in jeopardy as the business was placed in the hands of the receiver within months.

Worthington Walk (Burton Place) Shopping Centre in 1993
Worthington Walk (Burton Place) Shopping Centre in 1993

With a turnaround needed, Worthington Walk employed a new manager in the form of Gay Forrest-Elms.

After having worked in Burton for 25 years and holding the position of chairman at the town's chamber of trade, Gay Forrest-Elms was appointed the new centre manager in 1994.

In March 1997, an application was submitted to revamp Worthington Walk to include a new entrance and an extension. The plan also included the change of name from Worthington Walk to Burton Place.

However, by June 1997, the £1 million revamp of the ailing Burton shopping centre had been axed.

The owners explained how the expansion would have involved a larger store for Dunelm but shopping centre owners Capital and Provident pulled out when talks with East Staffordshire Council broke down after a row over the loss of car parking spaces.

The extension may not have gone ahead, but the £1 million revamp and name change did and included a 21,000 sq ft flagship store in the form of Wilkinson.