Saddened by closure of Burton clothing store
When I was a small boy, my father used to take me fishing in the ditches and canals around Romney Marsh. With a small boy’s innocent enthusiasm, I always hoped that a shark – even a small one – might find its way to where I dangled my hook.
Well, this is very much like fishing. ‘What is’? I hear you ask. Writing a weekly column in the local newspaper, I reply.
Each week a handful of bait is thrown upon the waters in the hope that a shark will come along to do battle. Sadly, so far I seem only to have caught a few tiddlers. But then, we live in hope.
So Burton – once, Montague Burton the Fifty Shilling Tailor – is to leave our High Street. This, in two ways, is a cause for sadness.
Firstly, of course, we will be losing what amounts almost to an historic landmark in our High Street and, secondly, the spectre of another large empty shop front in so prominent a position is not one to be desired.
I have to confess that I have twice, over the years, walked out of the shop without being served, while the staff stood and chatted amongst themselves. This, I hasten to say, has not happened recently.
What Burton’s closure does seem to point out is what I have always regarded as the unreality of relying on ‘footfall’ as a measure of commercial viability.
We have been told how footfall has increased recently but shops are still closing.
I see that the magnificent Hubert fountain has achieved a grade two listing despite the mistreatment it received during its previous ‘refurbishment’ when it was painted a hideous and utterly unbecoming orange.
Perhaps Steve Salter, our local historian and guardian of ancient things will bring some influence to bear and persuade the philistines that restoration does not mean slapping on paint of an inappropriate colour.
Proper research should be carried out to ensure that the intentions of the sculptor should be respected and the thing taken back to as near its original condition as possible.
We should congratulate those responsible for designing the various floral plantings in the town centre.
They, at least, are indicators that life is not extinct. The march of the floral ‘Daleks’ around the place works pretty well – though, unfortunately, some idiots have taken to planting their rubbish in among the blooms.
‘We have been told how footfall has increased but shops are still closing’