'Agree With Everything - Deny Nothing - Embellish All

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Rise & Fall Of A Small Market-Town

Nearby Cockermouth is a town in flux. When I returned to Cumbria I was surprised to find that the small market town of my youth boasted more decent restaurants and cafes than most such settlements, its tree-lined main street was a continental pleasure and elegant Kirkgate an architectural gem. Then a major supermarket chain opened for business on the site of the former livestock market, and the psychological geography of the town entered a period of mild neurosis. Small locally owned shops went under or changed their character. The fishmonger closed down & fastfood outlets multiplied. Four years on the process is continuing. The formerly excellent Station Street deli Number XVI has turned into a rather naff alimentary gifte shoppe. But worst of all the wonderful Roots & Fruits, a one-off greengrocer's sourcing produce from local farms, has gone under entirely. Walking past its former site today I noticed it has been replaced by a financial services adviser, specialising in that essential aspect of Lake District life, the 'buy to let' market. O tempora! O mortgages!


Post a Comment

<< Home