Discussion Forum

Shops, cobbles and pedestrianisation

Posted by Robert Collins
Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I'm wandering off-topic with this but I think there's the makings of an interesting thread here.

You said about shop owners adapting, taking advantage and cashing in. Are there any specific things you think they should be doing, that they aren't doing now? I'm thinking of the likes of Holts, Maskills, Bonsalls.

Is there anything you'd say they are currently doing wrong that means they deserve to go under and be superseded by others?

My own point of view is that I love the fact that Holts is just like the green grocers we used to go in as kids to buy just one apple for 2p or whatever; Maskill's product is up there with the best, yet is far cheaper than any supermarket; if I want a £2 box of nails, what's the point of me driving to B&Q?

How might I, as a regular local customer who doesn't really "do" supermarkets, benefit from any changes they might make?

Posted by Joseph
Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I think Holts is fantastic & Bonsalls a lifesaver. We too use them regularly, just like we do the Fish Stall on the market, Pennine provisions, the lovely butcher and the oasis that is Oasis. They don't need to change at all (I don't think?), and will be here for many years. It's also lovely to see newer businesses like Elemental & Mooch start up so successfully. New young people, with new ideas add to our community don't they?

But I went to the park yesterday with my son and thought we'd share a bag of chips at 7pm, when unfortunately both chippies were closed..(I think the White Lion Fisheries people who are lovely and we go there a lot but can I have my tea at 7 when I get home from work please?) Similarly, we'd love a takeaway curry sometimes on a Saturday night, but have struggled to find one that we'd like to go back to in HB.

Its not about shops and businesses being Trendy or cool. Just meeting the needs of the community. Just being good.

Posted by Robert Collins
Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Good call about the chip shops Joseph. When I used to live in Salford, there wasn't enough trade for the chip shops to open every tea time. What they did was open on one night in the week and different chippys opened on different nights.

Posted by Andrew Hall Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The interesting thing about this discussion thread is that we actually are all far more in agreement than disagreement.

Cobbles, lamp posts et al don't really matter (although I still can't see anything wrong with the 'temporary' columns. Sorry, but they work, and I don't see why we should all have to fork out for 'ornate columns' because, let's face it, all the developments in town are being done in our name and with our money, and the day any tourist says "Ooh let's go to Hebden Bridge today because they have absolutely spiffing lamp posts", I'll eat my hat, and, yes, I realise that this sentence is far too long).

But Joseph, you're right. Let's have a balance of shops which satisfies all demands. I do think however, we should guard jealously those shops which provide the essentials - the Bonsalls, Maskills, Holts, Waites etc etc. The non-essential shops are, in a way, the icing on the cake.

My concern is that, if we lose the core of essential shops, local residents will go to Halifax and Tod or even further afield. That won't be good for anyone. And once they've gone no amount of pretty cobbles or ornate lamp posts will entice them back.

Posted by Robert Collins
Thursday, June 29, 2006

Trouble is, if we lose just one of those core essentials, then the writing's on the wall for all the others.

I need to buy my meat and bread and fruit+veg all on a Saturday morning. Take any one of them away and I'll have to take all of my business elsewhere. (Probably Tod market).

Quite worryingly, I'm pretty sure one of the much-valued shop owners we're all talking about has already been branded as "awkward squad" by the powers that be. Not naming names, but I think you'll know who I mean...

...Am I wrong to smell a rat when I see a council parking enforcer ticketing a fully-liveried delivery van, with the words "Specialist suppliers to the xxxx trade" on the side? When it could not be more obvious that the van driver is in the process of making a perfectly legal and legitimate delivery to the xxxx shop?

Posted by Andy Macintosh
Thursday, June 29, 2006

Maximising the potential of the Hebden Bridge 'brand' - which exisits already in the public consciouness to some extent - would seem to be the main thing for businesses to do. I mentioned the shop local/local produce angle before and this could be taken further. Cafes can obviously take advantage of pedestrianisation and something other businesses could do is break out from the shop window now that more amenity space is available - displays, stalls, mini-markets.

How about for a brand - 'Hebden Bridge the walk-around town' (C)!

Posted by Rev Tony Buglass
Thursday, June 29, 2006

You may or may not be right, Robert, and I'm not going to say who I think said trader is in case we're not talking about the same one. However, I did hear from a certain source that a trader in town who disagreed with the development scheme has deliberately arranged frequent if not daily rush hour deliveries to his shop, so that the van would cause an obstruction and presumably make people think the new scheme isn't working.

In any case, there are clear criteria for deliveries in restricted areas. If it was legit, he can appeal against the illegal ticket, can't he? And that will give something worthwhile with which to attack vile tyranny! On the other hand, if he is just being awkward, perhaps he deserves a ticket.

Posted by Robert Collins
Friday, June 30, 2006

Rev.Tony, I'm fairly sure we're talking about different people. The incident I mention took place after the consultation period, but before construction had started. The shop in question is not on one of the routes that has been altered.

You are right to say that the supplier (who has no axe to grind about local issues) could of course appeal the ticket and eventually have the fine overturned on appeal. Question is, how many times will they tolerate that rigmarole before they give up and just refuse to deliver to Hebden Bridge?

Posted by Malcolm
Friday, June 30, 2006

In response to Joseph and Robert Collins' concerns regarding the importance of shops opening when they are most needed i.e. chip shops serving after 7pm and the ability to buy everything you need in one go on a Saturday morning.

I agree that it would be good to buy a fish supper in the evening but the ability to buy bread, pies and cakes on a Saturday morning is equally important. Hebden Bridge must be one of the only towns in the north of England where the principal confectionery shop is closed on a Saturday morning when most people are stocking up for the weekend.

Posted by Robert Collins
Friday, June 30, 2006

Malcolm, I too was gutted when Waites closed on Saturdays. There was a thread on here at the time, where the owners' representative cited the "ample free parking" in Mytholmroyd as a factor in the decision to run-down the Hebden Bridge shop.

Sadly, it makes no sense for me to drive to Mytholmroyd just to buy a few cakes and pies. I don't even know - is the Mytholmroyd Waites still open?

(See Who Ate all the Pies from September 2004)

Posted by Burty Glavnesso
Wednesday, July 5, 2006

I totally agree with the Rev. Hebden Bridge is seen as a soft touch as regards crime. We need to take a tough stance on all legal wrongs. If, as the Rev suggests, we addopt the sort of zero tolerance attitude against the so-called smaller crimes such as parking on double-yellows then perhaps we won't have hooligans running amok on our streets on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Thank you Rev for a voice of reason.

Posted by Robert Collins
Thursday, July 6, 2006

I'm with you Burty! That £50 parking fine I got the day the service was a bit slow in the Innovation caff has really changed my attitudes. I can honestly say I've not got drunk in the street on cheap cider, smashed a shop window or tagged a bus shelter since I got that fine.

See previous thread: Cobbles