Peter's Blog

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Wednesday, 25 April 2018

The high street has gone

Today I am in Liverpool for my Mums birthday and to become a Grandad again. Leaving Mum's I got the bus into town so I could catch another to where I am staying. While travelling along we went along a road where I trained as a butcher in 1964 and also past where I had my own butchers shop. I can say the High street as we know in the UK is dead. R.I.P the high street.

I traveled up Townsend lane that when I had my butchers shop there was full of shops all doing good business and not an empty shop in sight. Today it has a Ghost town feel from maybe 20 shops in my day to now only a handful and all look past there best.

At the top end of this block was the insurance broker i used for my first car. in 1968 an Austin A50. The car cost £11.00 from Liverpool motor auctions.

 From Townsend lane we started up Breck road past the only business that seems to be thriving Georgson's car sales. The owner of the car sales came in every Saturday and I cooked him a leg of lamb from when I worked in the shop to when I became the owner. His business looks to be doing well and during my time he certainly had a very good name as a person who was good to do business with.

Sadly just passed there was the Cabbage Hall pub recently closed and looking like it closed years ago dirty paint holes in part of the roof not a pretty sight.

Between the Pub and there turning for Belmont road what shops still open looked tatty and in need of a good clean and a facelift outside. Sadly with the lack of trade there is not the money to allow the owners to spruce up the exterior of there sorry looking shops.
As the picture shows this is 3pm in the afternoon. little more than a Ghost town.
The hay day of yesterday is long gone. The next think will be housing.

 As I pass the turn for Belmont road we come to the block of shops where I worked and learnt my trade as a butcher. The bank on the corner gone and the building looking sorry for itself, the little shoe shop and next door a ladies dress shop again looking really sorry for themselves. Rushworths the record shop now a Deli but looking so tatty who would go in there. The shoe shop on the corner closed.

Across the road Ohares the jewellers now a Pawn shop Sayers the cake shop gone and empty so is the Chemist next door. Looking past its sell by date next door is still a pet shop and the pub on the corner it would be kinder to knock it down.

It's the same up the road every block less than half the shops on each block closed and what's left looking sad. Across the road and further up are new housing estates so why is everywhere looking like it's time to close and say enough is enough.

Who's fault is it a shopping area that had everything now has nothing. The Car that's where it started, the car gave people the chance to be able to travel to the new supermarkets. The war between the supermarkets drove down prices and the little shops suffered and closed.

The council lost many millions in Rates but did the Rates from the supermarkets make up for what was lost from the high street???

About the only shops left are the ones owned by the ethnic communities because the shop has no wage bill to pay and all the family works in the shops. These type of shop offer no chance of employment for the local communities.

Solicitors, hair dressers, fast food outlets ( chippies ) and second hand shops. That's about all that's left but this is not a problem in just Liverpool it's a problem across the country as reported often in the news.

R.I.P the high street 

1 comment:

  1. A brilliant post of your observations on the local high street/s Peter. One of the things I like about Portugal is that to this point, the local village shops still remain even if not obvious from the outset. I think one of the killers in the UK is the extremely high local council taxes on shop keepers. Opposite where I used to live was a pub and it was put up for sale or you could rent it. Being curious, I checked out the rent. It as £75,000 per year and on top of that, the local council tax was another £25,000. Needless to say, it was never rented out or sold as a pub but after a change of use, sold and converted into apartments and the car park - huge, changed into town house and again apartment also at 1.2 million a pop. It sure is sad that so many high streets are now nothing more than charity shops, estate agents, chain coffee shops and little else. As said, a good post from you.