I will just squeeze a few rumours in before we start as that cheers me up:
- Heanor Tesco has been totally unaffected by Asda in Langley Mill.
- Eastwood Morrisons has lost a lot of customers.
- Asda is to lay off staff as they're not doing as well as expected.
- Asda is setting on more staff to meet the demand.
- Crumblies will have to pay half-fare on buses after April.
- I've won the lottery.
And does anyone know what's happening to our NETTO??
I was talking on MSN Messenger this afternoon with two friends [separately] and one told me that Heanor's Somerfield/Co-Op is to close on 16th April, I told the other friend, who said she'd heard it from her brother yesterday.
You have to ask yourself 'Did the Co-Op always intend to close?' Once they took over Somerfield, the retail space halved and the shelves were frequently empty of fresh food quite early in the day, as if they didn't really try or care.
So what's left in Heanor itself? Bookies, takeaways and charity shops just about sums up Heanor now. It looks like it's to become a ghost town as we all predicted when Asda decided to regenerate Langley Mill for us - with the best of intentions of course - I'll find the link to that particular post where I mentioned just such an eventuality in a minute ... phew, it took me ages to find it, don't I write a lot of crap? I eventually gave in and used the search term 'bookies' as I knew I'd mentioned it in roughly the same sentence, strange the things I remember.
Anyway, It's a shame that this is happening to Heanor. I moved there when I was 20 and it was a bustling, thriving market town and I instantly fell in love with the place [I moved around a lot as a small person], so it saddens me now to pass through [nothing to stop for] and see what it has become.
I still firmly blame Tesco [well I don't like Tesco] for starting Heanor's sad decline by building where they did. Then the other shops like Argos, Peacocks, Aldi and Poundstretcher following suit in a purpose built retail park across from them. I suppose it made economic sense for someone somewhere [probably the council] to build new shops and let the old buildings become second and third rate shops.
I suppose I can't blame Tesco for building where they did, but the town planners must have known the detrimental effect that it would have. There should have been some provision to ensure the future of Heanor. One easy thing for Tesco to have done from the beginning was to lay on a free bus to run every 10 minutes to and from the market place [calling at the retail park], that would have benefited the town centre and Tesco themselves, who could have bragged about how good they were - excellent publicity.
Why weren't any of these businesses at the retail park encouraged to move to Heanor's Market Place or Market Street in the first place? Perhaps it wasn't cost effective, but for the sake of the town it should have been made so. There were many rumours over the years about different stores opening in Heanor but nothing became of them.
I don't suppose Woolworths closing helped really [no matter how hard I try, I can't blame the council for that one] and maybe Heanor was doomed from then, because lets face it, once we're parked at Tesco or Heanor retail park - for free - we're not going to get back in the car, negotiate that crappy Tesco roundabout to go and pay to park on the market place, and we're all far too lazy - without Woolworths being where it was - [I include myself here], to walk up the hill from Tesco/Argos etc, to a town that no longer sells anything.
Eventually, as Heanor declines further, I predict that the shops will be made into flats for the scummy element to live for free, thus ensuring that no-one will venture anywhere near the town centre [I've seen this happen to two of the nicest streets in Skegness]. Hopefully this won't happen and instead they'll have nice roomy pads for crumblies to live in, because by then I'll be ready for crumbly accommodation.
And any council who keeps falling for big business bribes want their collective a**e kicking ... 'Ooooo, look what we'll do for you if you let us build a humungous blot on the landscape just there, oh and while we're at it we'll landscape this 2ft strip of unsightly land that'll be left over' ... roughly translated as 'When we've ripped all the indigenous trees up and destroyed any wildlife, we'll throw some soil at a teeny little bit of land and plant a few weedy specimens'.
But do councils really have that much choice??? Big businesses and developers are so much more powerful and have so much more money than any council, that they almost always get their own way - by hook or by crook. Never mind that they're decimating the town and destroying the livelihoods of small businesses.
Yes, I know Heanor's demise was probably originally bought about by industry moving away from the area, but I like to blame those that really run the country ... high profile retailers and developers, who keep building out of town retail parks until the nearby town is so run down that they then move in with an offer of demolishing everything that had been worth hanging on to but is now too expensive to repair.
And they'll tell us - in jolly tones - how they'll regenerate the place by building yet another store with JOBS for local people!! Alongside yet more depressing little boxes for some poor buggers to live in - complete with their very own minuscule garden or more often than not, just a parking space. Thus covering everything with tarmac, brick and concrete, with no green bits left to suck up the water! Then they'll be scratching their heads and saying 'Well I wonder why it flooded there?'
Oh heck, I think I got a bit carried away there. Now, I've lost me thread again, I wish I'd write in straight lines, thank heaven for cut and paste, I write what I think, where I think it then have to rearrange my blog ... and then I have to tweak it because it doesn't flow or make much sense ... what do you mean it doesn't make sense anyway? These are the ramblings of a grumpy old woman, they're not meant to!
Right back to the subject in hand:
From the few places I've visited on day trips during our 'crumbly holidays', one thing is glaringly obvious, each and every town centre is virtually identical, the only shops left are the ones you see everywhere else. They're the only ones that can afford to be in a town, the little private home-grown business is all but dead, Unfortunately, apart from Woolworths, Heanor had none of these big name shops.
And, lets face it, just out of town retail parks are a canker that has been eating away at all but the most prosperous of towns, and Heanor, on it's hill that we're all too idle to climb didn't stand a chance ...