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 20 years ago; you may have seen me around ?