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Mytholmroyd small businesses

From Janet Brookes

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Mytholmroyd is a has been as far as shops are concerned. Why would anyone what to shop here on a Saturday when there are only 3 shops and Sainsbury's open? We have tried offering extra long opening hours but unfortunately people aren't that interested. It is sad fact that eventually there with be no shops offering any services in Mytholmroyd.

From George Murphy

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Wandering through Mytholmroyd the other day I was thinking about this discussion thread. The key development in the town in recent years has been the small hub of shops and greenery around the surgery and war monument. I wondered if this could be extended to some new developments - a cafe, etc. - beyond the car park with the canal used as a focal point? The car park itself needs to be more welcoming, whilst retaining some parking for surgery visitors. The aim would be to encourage more shopping away from the main road.

Another blight on the town has been the boarded up pub next to Russell Dean car park. Ideally, this would be purchased and 'turned sideways' to face onto the car park and retained as a pub or another small cluster of shops.

The issue is, how can councils and civic bodies take powers to make areas more attractive to small businesses? On the other hand, walking up the hill away from the town I looked down on the ugly eyesore of the business park. No doubt that was developed through a mixture of council and business support and has created hundreds of jobs over the years. But did it have to be housed in huge sheds that would ruin the look of the town for generations?

Couldn't business have been attracted to use buildings that blended into their surroundings, or reflected them with more use of glass, trees and openings onto the river and canal?

And so I've meandered on from Mytholmroyd and its shops. Who will protect the pleasant vistas of the Pennines? And I thought about the wind turbines looming over Walsden that can be seen from from Pecket Well and I wished the Mount Skip pub was still there to cheer me up after my spring time saunter!

From Dave R

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Having grown up, moved away & then back, I have always had The Royd in my mind as Hebden's poorer cousin. This thread made me give a bit of thought as to why that should be?

Mytholmroyd is very limited being centred onto the main road. There never have been ( as I recall) many shops. Waites; a Greengrocers; chemist and sweet shop on one side, and the Newsagents; electrical shop; hairdresser and cobblers on the other. A few over the bridge - butchers; newsagents; Dougies shoes/cycles; hairdresser and what was the Co-op. 3 pubs and 2 chip shops.

Never enough to do your shopping there, none of the twee gift shops of Hebden.

These have changed very little over the years, some closing, a few opening in a different guise, and in addition Mytholmroyd now has a couple of cafes tucked up side streets, a grocer and a restaurant. But only 2 pubs.

I also think that the closure of walkleys had a detrimental effect on Mytholmroyd. There was always the potential for it to almost join up with Hebden whilst that was there ( if they wished).

What happened to the Royd Regeneration?

Mytholmroyd isn't a place I ever stop. If I need the Dentist or Doctor, I hop off the bus and back on afterwards. Nowhere to meander an hour away, no pretty little cafes tempting me in. All you really notice as a passing through visitor, is a dreadful looking kebab shop and the Health centre.

From Jill Robinson

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

I always used to take visitors to Walkleys but now I take them to the antiques centre at the top of the hill on the main road. It does not look very big but there is much more in there than a passerby might imagine, including a cafe. You can buy anything from musical instruments to buttons, well worth an hour or so browsing.

From Alex Rudkin

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Last year I opened the Mytholmroyd Gallery & Gift Shop, optimistic that with the Tour De France coming through and recently opened Fire Station Gallery & Yorkshire Sweet Shop we could attract more visitors and locals to venture into the village. That people would flock into a shop that only stocked items made by 40 local Mytholmroyd/Cragg Vale artists and makers. Unfortunately this has not been the case and we will be closing in July just as the newly built Village Hut Garden Centre opens.

We need more footfall in the village, however most people seem to venture in by car for a quick stop at Sainsburys, buying their greeting cards, stamps, newspapers,tobacco and sweets from one 'CONvinient' local store instead of using the small independent stores. So much for Totally Local.

Valli opticians is also closing down and their unit is likely to remain empty due to high rent and no footfall except for people going to the Medical Centre or Chemist.

We have tried producing maps showing where shops are and campaigned to have signs put up directing walkers off the canal and into the village, but this has fallen on deaf ears.

The owners of the Medical Centre complex refuse to open up a pathway from the canal, through their car park direct into the village, going past Milly's cafe.

We have had glimmers of hope with some very successful events. The Valley of Lights in 2012, Spring Handmade Art Market, Gala and two Reet Royd Do's in 2013. However the Tour De France and Gala last year proved disappointing, with most financial benefit going to traders from outside the area.

Unless people think before spending their money in large stores and support their local shops, Mytholmroyd will become devoid of independent businesses and the only shops left will be Sainsburys, the Co-op and the fast Food takeaway planned for the vacant Co-op garage units.

From Andy G

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

As a Hebden Bridge resident who frequently visits Mytholmroyd, I can sympathise with Alex and the other correspondents on this issue. I think there can be no doubt that Mytholmroyd suffers economically from its close proximity to Hebden and all its attractions.

When I visit Mytholmroyd - either when walking, or for one of my frequent medical appointments - I usually patronise the local shops, cafes and pubs. I have breakfasted at Milly's Cafe and the Riverside Cafe although, sadly, when I finally got around to going to the other cafe in New Road, it had already closed down. I have lunched or drunk in the Shoulder and the Dusty Miller and I am looking forward to my first visit to Aux Delices bar and bistro very soon. I purchase my prescriptions at Langthorne's chemist shop as often as I can. All of these establishments are excellent in different ways but, as Alex points out, there is a shortage of independent shops and Sainsbury's and the Co-op seem to have cornered the market.

I'm not really sure what the answer is. Mytholmroyd Walkers' Action do their best to entice ramblers into the village. Perhaps more could be made of the Ted Hughes and Branwell Bronte connections to increase tourist footfall. The derelict railway station building would make an excellent museum of local history, possibly combined with a craft shop and cafe, although I believe that past moves in that direction foundered as a result of too much council and railway bureaucracy. One glimmer of hope on the horizon is that I have heard that moves are afoot to re-open the White Lion pub as a bar, restaurant and music venue.

From Jez L

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Firstly, I am most impressed by the Art Gallery at the corner of Coldene Avenue and Burnley Road. A diamond in the rough. Totally saddened to hear you have to pull the plug. Of course, if you where in HB things may have been different for you. But that's the hub of the matter.

The grand regeneration idea of the community centre car park town square by cafe and independent shops is fab. But there appears no drive to make it happen. That damnable road is Mytholmroyd's the trouble. It splits the town in half.

I'll have a go at moaning at the medical centre about allowing a route through and I'll save my pennies this month to buy a piccy from the gallery. But I fear for the future, especially when they took the trains down to one… just one! and hour.

From Martin C

Friday, 12 June 2015

It is not true to say trains from Mytholmroyd have been cut to 1 per hour, there are still 2 per hour to both Leeds and Manchester including the newish semi-fast service to Manchester which has cut journey times to 35mins.

Yes, as a result of the speeding up of services on the line, one of the trains that ran from Mytholmroyd to Leeds via Halifax now runs fast through the station, and has been replaced by a Leeds via Brighouse service. But overall Mytholmroyd station has faster services to a wider variety of destinations than 7 or 8 years ago.

From Iain Harrison

Saturday, 4 July 2015

I live a mile from Mytholmroyd. It's the nearest place with shops. But I hardly ever shop there.

Why not? There is no bus service from where I live, it's too far to walk, too steep to cycle. And all the tales of cars being clamped there in the past have put me off driving there.

I've no idea if I'm typical of a Mytholmroyd non-shopper.

From Rory P

Monday, 13 July 2015

I've lived in Mytholmroyd for three years now so here's my two pence on this issue:

I'll admit that I rarely shop in Mytholmroyd, aside from at the little Co-op or Sainsburys Local. While I like that we have a few shops, let's face it, it's a fairly odd bunch that feel like time's long forgotten. I went to buy some mains electrical wire in the little hardware store a few months ago and when I asked for two metres was told they only sold it by the yard!

I'm sad to see the little gallery close as I often peered through the window on the way to the bus stop or train station, but I have to say I'm not surprised. There just isn't the foot traffic here or really the expectation that this is a place you'd visit to buy art or gifts. Trying to make Mytholmroyd compete with Hebden on quirky independent shops is a losing battle. This place doesn't have the space or charm to pull it off thanks to all the retail spaces facing the A646.

Rather if Mytholmroyd businesses want to succeed, they need to fill in the gaps that Hebden Bridge leaves wide open. Visit Hebden after 5pm and the place is dead. There are hardly any restaurants, nowhere is open if you want a quick coffee or snack. If you need something cheap and practical you probably need to head to Halifax or further afield to find a chainstore. These are all areas where Mytholmroyd could do something different and might get a lot more visitors if it had say a Wilkinson or (gasp) a Poundland. I'm sure there are plenty of lower income families in this area that would really welcome these kinds of shops rather than just more expensive places aimed primarily at tourists.