Here's the first podcast blog for you to listen to, a little up and down on the sound, but I'm hoping it's not going to be my last!
As mentioned in the podcast;
The Station House Cafe - Baranelli Bistro
0113 286 6322 - Joanne and Luigi
Happy Friday Garforth - Do you suffer from restless legs? I didn’t know it was a syndrome! Well according to my little source of information it's a very common syndrome and there are things that can help and we have them, right here in Garforth!
Regular exercise, stretching and massage – we have it all here - http://www.themaindeal.co.uk/keep-me-fit--healthy.html
Well what a fabulous weekend I had with my other family; the girls I have grown up with, some since I was 3… Every year we get together and let our hair down, not inappropriately of course, but to remember who we are……. OK, we acted like big kids for a whole weekend!
As you know, I took some goodies from our new local business, The Gin Shack.... and it went down very well indeed; must practice pouring 25ml into a glass and not 100ml.... add more tonic!
I'm fairly new to, Gin and I have been introduced to it my a lovely local expert…Rebecca, If you too want to try it for yourself, you can join, The Gin Shack's ' POP UP NIGHT' on 21st October at Quirky Ales… see you there
#WOTS (word on the street)
DO WE NEED A DOMINOES? Push the wrong one and they’ll all fall down!
Well after last week’s post, the C5 that was needed to change use of shop, is here in application form with LCC, so the rumours were right!
Personally, and in my opinion, we have enough take away’s offering Pizza, why do we need another?
A fair few of you feel the same and a few feel that a Domino’s would be a great addition to our high street, including someone in Sherburn in Elmet! However, I think long term about things and the impact it will have on our high street and our independent businesses, which to be fair, most of our takeaways are… independent. Therefore, this is my objection that went into planning yesterday.
I run a local company in Garforth which helps independents be heard and seen and helps connect the community to the businesses of the place they chose to live. For this application to be looked at never mind considered, I feel most disagreeable especially when LCC make the following points
1) It is against the Council’s recently adopted Core Strategy to introduce additional takeaways into main shopping areas. These are more appropriate to neighbouring areas.
2) “Main Street’s future place in the hierarchy and the role it will be able to play, particularly taking into account potential growth in this area, may need significant reassessment.”
3) As posted in the YEP - Councillors look to limit the number of new hot food takeaways set up in the future. A supplementary Planning document could be drafted in order to try and curb the concentration or clustering of takeaways in areas where unhealthy food choices are prevalent (we already have 6 options in Garforth of hot takeaway food)
4) A report to the Development Plan Panel said 'Obesity is one of the most important public health issues currently being addressed in the country and in Leeds.
Garforth is in a state of flux with the opening of a new supermarket and linked retail outlets opposite the existing Tesco’s supermarket half a mile from the main shopping area. This was not included as a retail area so its unanticipated change of use puts pressure on Main Street.
Similarly planning permission at Thorpe Park for 221,000 sq ft of leisure, hotels, cafés and restaurants plus 194,000 sq ft of retail space including a new food store (again when Phase 1 planning permission was given there was to be no retail.) This will again put pressure on Garforth Main Street and this pressure on Main Street is identified in the Impact Studies submitted before planning permission was given.
Along with waste issues and rubbish on streets which the traders have been trying to make a conscious effort to keep Garforth tidy following the guidelines through LCC. Delivery drivers will only bring more traffic. Footfall will not increase by a large percent as with pizza, it’s something that’s generally not ordered until dinner/supper time.
Dominoes arriving in Garforth brings no benefits whatsoever, Dominoes isn’t bringing a choice or something different, it’s bringing a branded pizza. Please look at keeping the balance right and adhering to the changes you are trying to insure on a high street.
Should you wish, you can object by the 5th October on the link above.
In case you didn’t know Strikes Garden Centre opened today, so I went for a nosy…… obviously!
What a really nice place it is and it's on our doorstep, how lucky we are. I had a good nosy round, and took only a few pictures as I didn't want to spoil the many elements of surprises the store has, from cookware, to quirky items, to gifts and art and lots of great seasonal items in the run up to Christmas, and as you will see in the pictures, some very large items. #mykindofwineglass The staff were all very helpful, kind and very welcoming to all the customers and I must say, very knowledgeable. It's extremely light and bright and the cafe is really comfortable with lots of seating areas, most of the produce in the cafe is sourced fairly locally, and after speaking to the catering and retail manager, we may be able to do something even more local with some of our great Garforth produce too, here's hoping. Jane the Catering Manager hinted that there would be looking at adding craft session for children and parties in the not too distant future.
But the fabulous news is, THE TRAIN IS COMING BACK.......... yes you heard it here first. It's not the original train of course (that was least seen on the M6) But there will be a train, the Retail Manager had not realised how loved the train was and how, over many years it gave lots of children and adults pleasure when coming to the garden centre,. Obviously, course it's not going to happen over night, but I think their plans of adding the train in at some point may have just been pushed further into their plans, so well done Garforth people who visited today, I think the train question was asked about such a lot, that is has given them food for thought.
YES, FATHER CHRISTMAS is coming back too, with Santa's breakfast and lunch options..... I did suggest, as I have done on social media before that the log cabin would be a great grotto, but the catering manager, Jane said they have plans for this; with a little cheeky smile, it must be exciting! #watchthisspace
I look forward to a meeting with the Managers in the next few weeks to see if there is any possibility we can get cross marketing with our local independents and work with you, the community
Looks like we are also getting a new business, it will be moving into Vogue bar! Rumour has it, it’s a sunbed and
E-Cigarette shop! Just waiting confirmation on this……. Not sure it’s something that will fit long term on Main Street as we already have a great choice of safe sunbed options with Shine and a few of our other beauty salons!
Thus far, I’ve only had one person come forward to help out with getting Olio, The Food sharing revolution off the ground, as mentioned in a previous blog, Olio is a great APP which allows unused food such as fruit from your apple tree at home to food at local greengrocers, to be used within the community. Again, please have a look, in order to get this off the ground we need more than 1 volunteer. http://olioex.com/ contact me on Christine@themaindeal.co.uk
This Sunday we have Garforth in Blooms, Bulb Planting day, meeting at 9.30am at the Welfare Hall, go plant and come back for bacon sarnies.
Come on Garforth Community, let’s get planting...............
Lots of things to think about in this weeks blog... Go think, Go do
Until next week...............
Today is ‘i'm going away with the girls day’ and I ‘m taking some of Garforth with me
Gin from The Gin Shack, coffee form Cielo, Bread from Dumouchel, nails from Bella Rose ;) and hopefully the lovely weather we've been having in Garforth this week! .... not today's though!
The Gin shack is soon to be one of my new members, here are their links
I will be reporting next week about how my Gin Hamper went down with the 10 of us, hard working Mum's!
Other new members coming on board are;
Opium Beauty, Scribblers Pre-school Playgroup and Garforth Phoenix Badminton club
A few whispers about a few shops coming up for rent soon, keep your ears to the ground people if you’re thinking about owning a shop on Main Street yourself. I know for definate that Adore's old shop (currently Garforth Antiques) will be vacant within the next week. I also know Karen at Ladycares, who sadly departs are lovely high street in December has 3 new possible businesses looking to rent when she leaves. Joans this week has has some movement, but as of yet, I am still waiting clarification as to what’s happening, the rumour is, it’s still to be Dominoes, but as I have mentioned in previous Blogs, there is nothing in planning to say any business has but in a request for change of use. If Dominoes where to come in, there would be a planning application C4/C5 to become a takeaway/hot food
I have also noticed above Kool Treatz that seating is upstairs, booths have been installed. Still not sure of opening times or their full menu yet, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Quite liking the new retro signage on the Co-Op, it’s like bringing back the 1950’s fascia fo when The Co-op first opened in the UK
This leads me on nicely to read what our Guest Blogger, Sean Field has to say, it's Sean's second blog; he's a man in the know and always makes you think about it.....
Empty Shops And The New Role of Charity Shops.............
In the first few years of economic difficulties that started with the world-wide crash of 2008, it took a while for the retail property market to catch-up with changes, so more and more retail units were built – you saw this in Leeds city centre with existing units plastered with “Closing Down” signs while the new Trinity development was being built. Vacancy rates became – and have remained – a hot topic, as did the growth of charity shops.
To keep High Streets vibrant, change is good and a few empty shops is helpful as it provides space for exciting new businesses to start up and, hopefully, grow. Unfortunately, there is a hard to define threshold where there is too much empty space; a point where it becomes a real turn-off for shoppers. I’m sure you’ve all seen the media images of boarded-up windows and a myriad of “To Let” signs. This can happen anywhere – I’ve seen streets like this even in places like Hampstead in London and it can be dangerous to the otherwise good retailers left behind as shoppers get turned off.
Thankfully, we’re a long way from this situation in Garforth – I can only think of a couple of empty units at the moment, and that’s after the addition of extra space over the last couple of years. That’s not to say all the units are trading businesses. Indeed, we have a large number of charity shops on Main Street which some might say is a bad thing. It goes without saying that I’d rather have a thriving business in every unit, but charity shops have started to emerge as a key part of the changing mix of retail.
The first role they are playing is helping to keep the shopping district viable. Charities put a lot more effort into their stores these days with proper signs, good visual merchandising in the windows and a general adoption of standards you’d expect in any half-decent retailer. This means they can now add to the look of a High Street whereas in the past they were just as off-putting as an empty window.
But I think there’s more to them now. Firstly, through a fashion trend of fishing out bargains, and now as a side-effect of the “savvy shopper” behaviour which has fuelled the of growth of shops like Aldi, B&M and Poundworld, they have become part of more people’s shopping repertoire.
I’m in the “trade”, so would never describe myself as a typical shopper, but I also feel that I’m not unique. I own more than a couple of shirts bought from charity shops, I’ve picked up some lovely vintage home accessories too. And I find a little wander around our charity shops on Main Street as much as a joy sometimes as visiting the great traders we have.
So, next time you start thinking there’s too many charity shops on Main Street, stop and think about how they’re serving Main Street’s shoppers AND its shops. And then why not pop in and have a rummage!
Happy weekend Garforth
I have scheduled lots of things over the weekend on my social media pages, to keep the weekend busy, just in case the usual,’ E’ sign on my phone pops up to be ironic whilst I am in Anglesey! I will share when I can
PODCAST??? (Podcasting is a form of audio broadcasting on the Internet.)
What do you think to a little introduction to a podcast from time to time on the blog? Let me have your thoughts, would you be OK with my dulcet tones?
... I'm packed and gone............
Give yours a squeeze….#teddybearday
Ok, who stole the week, where did it go? Children are back in school and work has fully resumed; well sort of…. Over the last 6 weeks I have been juggling work and children, this week I have been juggling work and trying to find my house under all the mess…. A woman’s job is never done, maybe that’s why we don’t get paid as much……! I’m joking
I’m looking forward to meeting with an associate from Henry Lax next week to talk about their 8 office/areas to rent and to discuss how maybe I can help get them filled. Maybe offering lots of other ideas as to how they can be utilised. We have lots of people wanting to set up shop as such on Main Street, but as most know, rent and rates are extortionate, even if we could find a way where new businesses could get a helping hand, head start for the first 6 months! Let’s see how I get on….
A see a few changes on Main Street on my visit back from holidays this week, nice to see the new take away/cafe has been painted, opposite Moorhouse Opticians, it looks much cleaner and brighter!
If you ever wondered about membership with, The Main Deal and think, ‘but there’s already lots of similar companies on there already’, it doesn’t matter who else is on there and if they are of a similar trade, it’s about using, The Main Deal as a platform to be seen, treat it like the new, 'Yellow Pages', people are using it to search for things local. It would be great to get, The Main Deal used as the Google page of Garforth… we’re getting there, but still have some way to go… it’s all about you as the local community using it and this week it proves you do, as we hit 100,00 hits to the website alone, since January 2016, thank you.
Apart from the weather last Saturday, I think the Garforth Tigers annual Rugby Gala went well. It seemed busy when I popped along, I had a go at Manning Staintons Tombola stall which was full of sweets, chocolates, fragrances and goodies; I won a tin of hotdogs!
Yorkshire Choice Awards are back open for nominations for 2017, last year we had 5 local businesses nominated, we didn’t walk away with any trophies, but our local companies were recognised and received votes, so if you know of anyone who has worked hard in your community, or a business you really like and use and found useful or you would just like to say, thanks….. wink, wink, nudge, nudge, you can always click on the link below and put in a nomination!
I have been asked to look into this great App which could work really well in Garforth
OLIO is a free app that connects neighbours with each other and with local businesses so surplus food can be shared, not thrown away. This could be food nearing its sell-by date in local stores, spare home-grown vegetables, bread from your baker, or the groceries in your fridge when you go away. For your convenience, OLIO can also be used for non-food household items, too.
OLIO is super easy! To make an item available, simply open the app, add a photo, description, price (if applicable), and when and where the item is available for pick-up.
To access items, simply browse the listings available near you, request whatever takes your fancy and arrange a pick-up via private messaging.
Here at OLIO we believe that small actions can lead to big change. Collectively – one rescued cupcake, carrot or bottle of lotion at a time – we can build a more sustainable future where our precious resources are shared, not thrown away.
I love the idea and thank Cat Barrett for passing on the information, I think it could work brilliantly in Garforth, but as always I could do with some volunteers who could help get it off the ground, so if this seems of interest to you and you would like to help do something great, or you would like to be someone who could donate as suggested above, please contact me email@example.com
#WOTS (word on the street)
There have been a few cats gone missing this week, 3 in total! But today, I have heard the fluffy grey one has been found and back to its much loved home…. Let’s hope the others return soon
I have been asked a fair few times and noticed on social media pages that people are asking about the traffic lights on Nine lands Road and when they are going to be installed with the zebra crossing. I asked Mark Dobson yesterday and he has himself already been chasing, with the ‘man in the know’ at Leeds City Council. I believe, according to Mark’s comments on Streetlife;
‘As you know Cllr Field & I persuaded highways to remove the chicane & raised the funds for the Zebra. Basically, and it happened with the one further up too, LCC got as far as they could and have been let down on the date of the power link up. I've today again progressed with the Highways Chief Officer as this is a scheme long called for & is one we have committed to delivering’
So as you will have seen, and I think I have mentioned in a previous blog, the new 4 bedroom houses that are being built on Green Lane, to be called, Cricketers View, will soon start to be built, they are now only going to be 4 properties as opposed to their original plans for 8/9 flats! I wonder what changed the developer’s mind. Either way, at a price from £299,999 they would have to be something quite special; I may have a nosy when they’re up!
I have sent an email to Klondyke, Strikes Garden Centre this week to see if they can let me know a clear date for their opening, people have asked me to as they know I will always go and see if I can find out. I sent an email on Tuesday and have heard nothing back yet, I will publicise when/if I hear. It’s looking pretty smart up there and I’m wondering as well as few others, if they are going to be keeping the little wooden hut that used to be the old café? I personally think it would be good for it to be kept and used as a Grotto! - I may suggest it if they come back to me
Nothing much else in planning this week, apart from Wetherspoons putting in application for extract filter units!
Of late I have been looking into other options to help get businesses seen…. But after a few discussions with a few traders and businesses locally, Garforth might not be ready… just yet, for the next chapter…. I’ll be back to revisit it soon
Garforth Community Choir is back this week, Wednesday the 14th, if you are interested, go and have a session, it's only £4.50, it's not an audition, it's to see if you like it. Check out the link of details under our Local Bands, Garforth Community Choir, above for costs and times etc.
Thank you to last week’s Guest blogger last week, I’m hoping to see a return of another by Sean Field in the next week or so. I am always looking for the next Guest Blogger as it’s good to get a different perspective from people who also live in this fab place we call home. Just contact me if you would like to be added to the list firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday is my birthday…. I may just stay in bed and cry… how on earth did I get to 42? Next Friday also brings much happiness as I’m off on my annual girls weekend away, and we will be celebrating leaving school 25 years… wasn’t the 90’s only 10 years ago?!! Anyway, as some of you may remember, this time last year, I was steering a barge on my girl’s weekend away…..! But I have declared that the only thing in my hand will be a glass of something red steering towards my lips #noboatsinsite
Shout about the places you have been and if you have bought great things, you then help let other people know about local – be part of the cog that helps keep our town turning
Until next week………….
Well hello there, and welcome back to reading the weekly blog. If you had followed some of my #holidayblog posts on Twitter, you would have seen I had a lovely time in good old Whitby. We stayed over in a friend’s apartment looking over West Cliff… very beautiful, but boy did we earn those large classes of Yellow Tail! As many of you will know, ‘Whitby aint flat’ and nor was the 3rd floor apartment we stayed in, with 26 stairs pair floor….! So it was only right I ate chips and scones as well!
Firstly, lots going on this weekend
#WOTS WORD ON THE STREET
Anyway, I have still been trying to keep up with what’s been going on in good old Garforth, I see Wetherspoon’s have finally had their go ahead and rumour has it, it will be in about a month when they start work!! Lidl has had the architect approved plans through, even though it was JULY when it was passed, the plans and information have only just been aired through social media
As I have always voiced my opinion…. on this, on previous blogs about the retail units that come along, it now appears to be saying, there are several small non food retail units!! Not a happy bunny…. What does this mean for Garforth? More investigations needs by little old moi
Stocks Blocks are soon to move away from Ninelands Road, so I hear and there is a little controversy about what’s coming next on what will be a massive bit of land. There is a few opinions on social media pages amongst the ‘people that know’ and ‘the people who think they know’ about what’s going to be developed there, it seems most of the gossip is that a Housing developer has already obtained the land… I agree, we don’t need any more houses, and I know, someone who would do something wonderful instead…… let’s see what happens over the course of the next few months as Stocks Blocks ‘Move on out’
Which brings me nicely onto the new Zebra crossing… much better, thankfully that chicane has gone and if anything, it’s made the traffic flow much better. I believe the lights are coming, it’s just down to another department to install them
Before I went away I attended something new, something wonderful……. It’s all very exciting..... I'll be shouting loudly when I can
A NEW GUEST BLOGGER
Firstly, we say a huge congratulations to our last, lovely Blogger, Christine Hague who, as you would have seen and read, was expecting a little garfonian; you will be pleased to know, Christine gave birth to a lovely little boy called, Tommy last Saturday. You will be hearing more from Christine in the not too distant future as we work on a little project together
But today, we introduce, Sean Field another another local Garfonian who is very passionate about the place we live.
A Retail Exile On Main Street
About 17 years ago, I was a younger man working as a store planner for Tesco. I was working on a then revolutionary project which was turning old High Street stores from the 1960's and 1970's into their new “Metro” stores. This project brought me to Main Street in Garforth for the first time and I immediately fell in love with the place.
It took about 15 years, but I finally made it back here and I’m now a proud resident with Main Street on my doorstep.
I’ve worked in retailing all my life, and have built up a passion for High Streets. As someone who’s always worked for one of the big national companies, I still believe in a lively mix of independents and chains are needed to create a vibrant, customer-focused, High Street environment. And we are very lucky to have just that in Garforth.
I like to compare a High Street to a Hypermarket – essentially, they should both be destinations with adequate parking, easily accessible and everything you need within walking distance. Well, we’re already ahead on many points here in Garforth with a dream location with two main roads either end and two well-maintained – and free – car parks.
I’ve always enjoyed buying my fresh products from independent specialists – meat from the butchers, fruit and veg from the greengrocers, bread from the bakers, etc. The rise of supermarkets has helped us weed out the kind of butchers I remember as a child – nasty, smelly places with sawdust under foot. Only the best survive in retail, and I’m pleased to say that Firth’s and The Greengrocer both reflect that. The Greengrocer in particular is a superbly innovative little shop that continues to surprise me with its range beyond the traditional fruit and veg. Not been in? It’s a treasure trove if you like herbs and spices as well as some great deli items too!
I’m seeing more of Garforth recently as I’m on “gardening leave” between jobs and have more time on my hands. This has helped me explore more and I’m still finding gems like our Post Office with its fabulous range of stationery, toys and gifts plus a rare find of an independent Toiletries store like The Lady Cares. My gardening leave has also left me without a car, so having all this in walking distance of my front door is an added bonus!
Back to where I first encountered Main Street, I think it’s a great pity that Tesco chose to relocate into the old Safeway store, but Co-op Food, Salisbury's Local and the recently opened Nisa Local franchise mean that Main Street is still a superb “one stop shop” with the three of them offering all the groceries you’re likely to need between them.
Shopping locally IS important – it helps local businesses, it gives local people access to jobs – and careers – with national chains and it contributes to a community feel that. It is something that is sadly lacking back in my home town in Essex now, but it still lives on in Garforth. Be proud, cherish it and use it regularly. Sean
I look forwad to hearing more from Sean, as usual if you have any comments for me or our guest blogger, please do leave one below.
All Back to school next week… Cheers from Parents, Groans from Teachers?
Enjoy local, it’s where you chose to live, you could have bought a house anywhere, but you chose here, look after it
My name is Christine Thom, I came to live in Garforth nearly 22 years ago; you may have seen me around ?