So it says, World Egg Day - how do you eat yours?!
Another busy week of evenings out and about. However, some of my meetings are starting to turn into more like a get together, I should not complain when I arrive to this
Last night I spent an evening at the First Direct Arena watching the much loved 70’s and 80’s icon of electronic music, Jean Michel Jarre; he’s more my husband’s taste, whereas I have always turned my lip up over the last 20 years as his ambient tunes were played in the house; he doesn’t really fit in my 1940’s genre of music! However, his concert last night was mesmerising, he's so clever and extremely talented, the graphics he added to his music were out of this world; I now understand the reason my hubby likes him so much and how he influenced him in his music taste, it’s the science, the feeling and his passion in the content that really blew me away. We are so lucky in Leeds to have areas where we can watch great talent, a man who was the first westerner to play live in, The Peoples Republic of China! He also holds the world record for the largest ever audience at an outdoor event, and here he was, in little old Leeds!
According to the Yorkshire Evening Post, it will be called, The Briggate! One of our lovely local residents and local artist, John Harrison found out for us, non-historical Garfonians, that Main Street was once called, Briggate. It’s nice that Weatherspoon’s did a little digging in our local towns history to come up with the name. The artists impression doesn’t look half bad; anything is better than what it looks like now!
I thought I would write about the traffic issues this week, as seen as there are so many issues and so many people complaining on different threads of social media about it…..!
You have to look at it like this;
A lot of Garforth’s housing estates were built in the 1960’s when Hilman Imps were fashionable and most people walked, everywhere… Ooo, how slim we were as a nation!
MOVE ON 50+ YEARS……………………
Garforth’s housing development has extended, people have extended their homes, families are staying at home longer together, therefore per household, there often more than 2 cars.
So as you will read, expanded in people and cars and it brings quite a lot of the issues that have been created, however, the roads have NOT expanded, the infrastructure is still much the same as it was in 60's…..… So whose fault is it? Who should we blame?
Leeds City Council, should they not invest more money in one town more than any others?
Local Councillors, should Mark Dobson and Sarah Field sort it ALL out?
Should we just blame the Government?
When really, are we actually not part of the problem?
Some of us want bigger houses, better gardens and don’t always realise the implications we are having, over time.
As a community should it be up to us to do something?
I tend to not think outside the box, but to kick the box away ……………………
A few ideas!
Unless you can have another solution?
Garforth's infrastructure WONT EXPAND not in the way we need it to. But why keep complaining persistently about the problem, it’s a solution we need, a home-grown one otherwise we can keep complaining and then, wait and wait, and wait for someone else to sort it out!
If we don’t take a step forward, we remain in the same place!
Last note - as much as it may be frustrating, there is a reason for the 20 miles per hour limits, with all this traffic, we need to keep our roads and community safe
Our lovely Guest Blogger, Sean Field is back with his third and final blog
Back To Commuter World!
After a couple of months of idling around, I’m back at work full time next week and it’s got me thinking about how I’ll have to readjust my shopping behaviour.
As well as the indulgent moments of having breakfast in Pride & Produce or a coffee in Cielo, I’ve also got into a habit of buying the food I need on a daily basis from Main Street. It’s been great both in terms of the quality, but also the reduction in food waste. The price per KG might sometimes be higher than a supermarket, but I’m not finding some unused veg from a big “cheap” pack in my fridge and so I’m probably spending less overall. And you’d need to go to a larger Tesco than the one we have in Garforth to get such a great selection of meat as you get in Firth’s!
But, from next week, I’ll be in an office staring at spreadsheets while the Main Street shops are open, and by the time I’m home around 6 in the evening, they’ll be closed. It’s a pity we have never adopted a similar approach to opening times as you find in Spain. We may laugh at the idea of the siesta, but closing between 2 and 5 allows independent shopkeepers to open in the evenings when there are more people around. Garforth has become more of a commuter settlement for Leeds – you only have to look at the bulging car parks at our two stations in the morning to realise this. One of our most recent new additions – The Station House Café – opens at 6a.m to cater to their caffeine needs in the mornings, but, for the return journey, it’s left to the multiples – and Nisa – to cater to any needs of commuters. Maybe every night might be too much, but it would be interesting to see a mid-week “late night shopping” event on Main Street to try and stimulate interest and more trade for our excellent shops. Most of those commuters would be back by 6, so an extension of opening hours to around 6.30 would probably do the trick. I appreciate the effort required, and tight margins, in running an independent shop, but great retailers react to changes in their shopper’s behaviour.
Until that happens though, I will force myself to find time around operating my “Dad’s Taxi” service for my children to get to the butchers, bakers and greengrocers to stock up for my working week. I don’t want to lose the reduction in food waste, so I will need to top-up mid-week and for that, our convenience stores will be there.
The last couple of months have reaffirmed my belief that as shoppers we should try and spread our spending across all the retailers in our town so my Saturdays will now see me visiting the butchers, bakers and greengrocers and stocking up for my work week as much as possible. Our convenience stores will help me top-up during the week, so that way I’m spreading my local spending across chains and independents.
Those who follow my Twitter feed will know I’m a fervent believer in a mix of chains and independents. Independents are vital in creating a unique experience in any shopping area, but they can’t offer everything a community needs. Some products would be wildly affordable without the bulk buying of multiple grocers – it’s why even independent grocers need to attach themselves to national buying organisations like Nisa to survive. But there’s also the good multiples do for social mobility and helping people get a career in retail. While a local independent shop owner will generally spend more of their takings in the local economy than a national chain, their employees will very rarely have an opportunity – like I got with Tesco – to move up the business into better paid and more challenging roles.
And again, I seem to return to the theme of my first guest blog for The Main Deal. Shopping locally is vital – it’s a matter of success or failure to the independents, while being a guarantee of continued investment in people by the multiples.
Cherish YOUR Main Street, Use YOUR Main Street and Enjoy YOUR Main Street.
Sean's Twitter handle is https://twitter.com/BeansJust
THINK, HELP, DO SOMETHING GOOD
Until next week.................
My name is Christine Thom, I came to live in Garforth 20 years ago; you may have seen me around ?