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The demise of the High Street

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not done it yet03/12/2018 15:54:11
6734 forum posts
20 photos

Seems like they might still have hairdressers? Nobody, absolutely nobody, cuts hair any longer where I live!

Neil Wyatt03/12/2018 16:49:43
18990 forum posts
734 photos
80 articles
Posted by bricky on 03/12/2018 15:52:48:

Niel ,I live in Grantham and don't know where one can park on the High street at all, unless displaying a disabled badge.You must have been lucky ,the traffic wardens must have been having a day off.


Looks like I was on Westgate, parallel to the high street.,-0.6439683,3a,75y,138.49h,90t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sEreFZNBkQd78haNlusmimg!2e0!!7i13312!8i6656

Stuart Bridger03/12/2018 18:07:24
538 forum posts
29 photos

My local town Witney, comes under West Oxfordshire District Council. They have a policy of not charging for car parking. So is it a big surprise that it is a thriving market town, with plenty of independent shops??? Yes there are some shop vacancies, but not many. That said we have had some recent closures citing high rates, so we can't be complacent about the future,

jason udall03/12/2018 18:33:35
2031 forum posts
41 photos
So. It would seem that the policy to discourage the use of cars from towns is a success.
Shame these same planners didn't see the obvious cars =no drivers
No drivers= no customer for shops.

Nick Clarke 303/12/2018 18:40:10
1394 forum posts
61 photos

As far as model engineering is concerned the town centre is no longer any use at all. When I first started as a teenager in the 1970s Reeves were in town, Kennions were too, although I never went to see them as living in Nottingham it was just too far.

Pools Tools were right in the centre of Nottingham, just a two minute walk up from Slab Square so tools were available easily. Cheap tools are available from Machine Mart and Toolstation, but branded stuff. or more specialised items are mail order or internet only.

Metal was a little harder as Carr's had moved out of town when I was very young and by the time I wanted them they were a 4d bus ride from the city centre, although as it was the same route as I used to get home from town, not too bad for me personally.

Even living in Birmingham as I do now there is only one non-ferrous supplier near town (Keetleys - V.Good) and for steel, tools etc it is always a drive.

The only metal one can guarantee is available in all parts of the country is the frighteningly expensive stuff that Homebase et al sell, and they are not always on a bus route in town.


Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 03/12/2018 18:40:31

John Haine03/12/2018 19:14:45
4626 forum posts
273 photos

Kennions were a LONG walk from Hertford town centre! One day I decided to walk there having seen their advert in ME. Very footsore by the time I arrived. Very grumpy guy that kept it too, I never went back.

alan-lloyd03/12/2018 19:39:59
176 forum posts

Shit 'ole part of town that was in

Bazyle03/12/2018 19:40:41
6297 forum posts
222 photos

Ron made a good observation about Butcher filling a road. 40 years ago at the edge of London the nearest line of shops along the main road had 3 butchers and 2 bakers plus a mini supermarket which under it's fifth reincarnation is the only one still open. These shops were a remnant of necessity before refrigeration and industrial baking. They became obsolete like the candlemaker a century before.
High streets grew out of markets just as a place to meet a few times a year to get 'exotic' goods you didn't make yourself. In the middle ages I doubt most of the occupants of a village went the 3 miles to town every year, certainly not if it was 10 miles. Todays equivalent in terms of travel time is over 100 miles. How often do you go 100 miles to shop?

So why do we want high streets at all in the 21st century?

Gordon A03/12/2018 20:18:53
157 forum posts
4 photos

With the rise of internet shopping and demise of the high street, how long will internet prices and delivery costs stay low?

Peter G. Shaw03/12/2018 21:17:18
1409 forum posts
44 photos

I've lived at my present address now for 23 years and during that period my visits to the local town have gradually decreased whilst at the same time, my internet ordering has gradually increased. These days I only go into town if I HAVE to, eg to visit the doctor/dentist/hairdresser/optician. What I then do is to tie those visits up with as many other visits as I can manage, eg library/chemist/"hole-in-the-wall" (only that might be reducing somewhat as our village shop has just closed) etc.

I do follow a regime of trying to use the local shops as much as possible, eg electrical spares and our local hardware shop, and generally keep spares so that I do not have to charge into town on an emergency mission.

The major problem is that using the internet, I usually get a photo of what the item is before I buy, whereas if the local hardware shop hasn't got it in stock, although they will order it, it often means I'm buying blind, and indeed I got caught a few weeks ago when I finally decided to buy a new Millenicut file. I thought that I would buy the half-round file expecting to also have a flat surface on one side - only to find that the half-round was indeed just that, a half-round chunk of metal with no flat side! I then had to buy the matching flat file. I've also found that, for example, inkjet cartridges are usually more expensive from the local shops than via the internet.

Banking is all internet now, and any odd cheques/bank drafts that I may receive I post off to my nearest bank branch, not that I get many these days.

It's a shame, but its progress. And would we really like to go back to 60 years ago?

Peter G. Shaw

Harry Wilkes03/12/2018 21:26:38
1325 forum posts
65 photos

Hands up I'm a online shopper parking near my town centre is both crap and expensive, Argos moved out of the town centre onto a edge of town shopping park moved next to Maplin so if I wanted to make a purchase from either it would cost an extra £1 for the pleasure of spending my money so I stopped using either unless they offered free postage sad


Halton Tank03/12/2018 22:01:02
97 forum posts
56 photos

There are many reasons for the decline of retail shops in the high street but I think that the main reason for downward trend was the ending of the Retail Price Maintenance in the mid sixties. Before that the price of an item was determined by the manufacturer and it had to be sold at that price irrespective if it was by a one man business or large high street chain. With the ending of RPM, yes there was drop in price for a lot of items for a while but then prices rose rapidly in the years after (just like with the privatations of the utilities). In the days of RPM stayed steady for years on end.

Also shops now tend to be owned by property companies and it seems that they prefered to lease shops to big chains rather than sole traders, though I gather now they are starting to feel the pinch with number of the 'big boys' going under.

steamdave03/12/2018 22:21:42
510 forum posts
44 photos

Seems like it's not too bad living in deepest, darkest West Cork. Skibbereen and Clonakilty are thriving little towns.

Plenty of independent small shops, free parking (2 hour limit) and a very good local market on the weekends. Lidl and Aldi have made an appearance but they do not seem to have taken away too much trade from the smaller independent shops. No Tesco, M & S or other multiples.

Only thing lacking is a decent tool shop!

The Emerald Isle

Nicholas Farr04/12/2018 07:56:30
3312 forum posts
1529 photos

Hi, the talk about car parking reminds me of a joke I heard many years ago, which is a play on words and expression.


"What would you do if you saw a Spaceman?"

The answer is; "Park in it Man!"


I found very strange how many people would say they would run like hell.

All our car parks in town are 24/7, although most of them are cheaper from 5:00 in the evening until 8:59 next morning, but some have a few 20 minute free parking bays.

Regards Nick.


Edited By Nicholas Farr on 04/12/2018 07:58:18

AJW04/12/2018 09:13:48
377 forum posts
137 photos
Holidayed in Jersey this year where I was palmed off with an old ?5 note. Didn't think much of it at the time as they still use ?1 notes - new plastic ones!
Anyway, when I realised the fiver was no good I took it into an enormous HSBC bank in St Helier to change.
The lady in this mainstream High Street bank informed me that they couldn't help as they don't deal in cash and don't have a cash desk!
Another paragraph in the demise of our High Street's.

Don't know what happened to the 'pound' sign!

Edited By AJW on 04/12/2018 09:15:02

Peter G. Shaw04/12/2018 09:43:38
1409 forum posts
44 photos

Forgot to mention parking.

All our towns are currently parking meter free zones although the County Council would dearly love to bring them in. They did try a few years ago but the outcry was so great that they backed off. Unfortunately, there is a recent report that they are looking into it again with the council saying that as usual, they are looking at all options!

Town centre parking is either in pay car parks, except for those run by the likes of Aldi, or on street by means of Parking Disks. Lengths of on street stay vary from 1/2 hour up to 2 hours depending on how far out one is prepared to walk, and the town concerned. In my case, a 2 hour park is sufficient time for me to walk into town, visit the few establishments/shops I have to visit, have a cup of coffee, and walk back to the car. It means I get to do my daily exercise at the same time as shopping.

Peter G. Shaw

SillyOldDuffer04/12/2018 10:28:45
8491 forum posts
1891 photos

Here's a working High Street:

And a few years later here's one in trouble:

Quite fun to see two American Gas Guzzlers in shot. Both unsuitable for British roads. Petrol was expensive here, smog already a problem, and our good road surfaces didn't require cars to have super-soft suspensions. Also, being narrow and bendy British town-centres favour slim cars that can go round corners.

I expect the High Street will be back in more or less traditional form as soon as oil runs low and motoring becomes expensive again. No problem parking when most people can only afford to travel by bus and push-bike!


here again04/12/2018 17:49:14
66 forum posts
20 % tax on internet sales is being considered too.That might help the High Street!!
Chris Trice04/12/2018 18:05:25
1375 forum posts
10 photos

20% on top of VAT?

Rik Shaw04/12/2018 18:05:33
1480 forum posts
398 photos

" Nobody, absolutely nobody, cuts hair any longer where I live!"

Surely a few cut it shorter don't they ? teeth 2


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