Who killed the high street?

There’s been a lot of chat in the local paper regarding the possible holding of a weekly market on West Street. The idea is an attempt to cut the pollution by cutting the traffic. Once a week. While I think it’s a great idea, the cries of dismay from drivers has been tumultuous.

One of their arguments has been that holding a market once a week will kill the high street.

Where were these Great Knights of High Street Protection when the out of town supermarkets opened up? Where were these Lords of Local Independent Shops when the Internet started selling things in our living rooms? I can only assume that they never started buying alcohol to drink at home given it would kill the local pubs.

The weekly market, we have been told, will not be in competition with the shops. A market will bring people into the town and create a greater footfall for both market AND local shops.

Anyway, if the market includes produce of any kind, there’ll be little competition because the green grocers are long gone, leaving food sales to Sainsbury’s and Waitrose. Of course there’s the butcher, the baker and the wholefoods shop but they’re in Downing Street. Holland and Barrett may suffer a bit but I doubt it.

I do wonder whether the people concerned about the death of the high street are also up in arms about the forthcoming shop increase in East Street. The new Crest Nicholson development includes a whole raft of new shops (as well as parking for hundreds of cars) and I’m not sure how any of these new ones will survive.

Rather than markets, something that will definitely kill off the high street is inattentive service.

I’m not what you’d call impatient. I rarely look irritated by inattention in a shop. There is, however, a point at which I’ve had enough. Rather than tut or fume, I merely leave the shop and go elsewhere. Like this morning.

I needed a few chemist type things so, rather than go to Boots I popped into our little independent chemist. I couldn’t see what I wanted on the shelves so I stood and looked like I needed some help.

Obviously I didn’t look helpless enough because the two woman serving ignored me and, instead, served two other people who entered after me. That’s fine, I thought, as I turned and left, I’ll go to Boots.

Having shopped in Boots and started for home I ran into Vivienne and Luna who walked back with me. We had a lovely chat about various things including Mirinda’s definition of a weekend and a hypnotherapist in Farnham who sounds like a total dickhead. As opposed to Vivienne who is, of course, a superb hypnotherapist.

Poppy Watch

Last night’s rain managed to perk up the Californian poppies a bit. It’s not that easy to see from the overhead photo but some of them are struggling against impending doom.

So, to help, I’ve included a side shot.

This very short new section of the blog will continue after we return from Paris. I’m expecting great changes in future Poppy Watch entries.

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