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tomtom

Bedlington Market

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What a disgrace - only decent stall seems to be the one that sells bird seed, peanuts etc - most of the rest of the stalls

do nothing for the image of the town - rubbishy goods, old bikes and general trash seems to be the norm. Little wonder nothing is happening in our town -no investment, few decent shops - rubbish in profusion down the lanes from Front Street - fag ends from smokers from the pubs all over the pavements - no wonder we are looked upon as a backwood!

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I'm afraid it's not just Bedlington, TomTom, It's in most of the towns. Shops closing down, businesses uprooting elsewhere; half-finished projects. (Elliot's Garage fiasco) I'm beginning to think Threegee might be right about radical change. (Was that a Tony Blair phrase?) As far as fag ends and rubbish goes they should get the tobacco companies to finance the clean up of their loathsome products. But the fact is that Britain is full of forgotten towns and the light at the end of the tunnel might just be afterglow.

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What is the problem with Bedlington businesses?

Answer: Lack of foot fall!

How do we solve this?

Good question!

 

Seriously not being funny here, Adam, but what is 'foot fall'. It's sound like politic-talk / jargon but I don't know what it means.

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Its not a term I've heard before but I presume it is not enough people using the business! as much as we like to support local businesses can we afford too? with limited incomes most people will buy at the supermarkets when they are available, just a sad fact of life. Our nearest big name supermarket is over 100 miles away, so we tend to stock up when out of town. Yes our small businesses don't last very long :thumbsdown: 

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Foot fall is the number of people who pass through in commercial terms; Bedlington has a low foot fall not because of a lack of businesses, but because of very little passing traffic. Asda at Cowpen, for example, was always going to be a success thanks to its location - beside the Spine Road and Cowpen Road, both very busy roads. Nobody comes through Bedlington without needing to be here. This is why I have always maintained that the businesses needed in the town are those that cater for local people (local shops, for local people, there's nothing for you here....) in a way that has yet to be exploited. I don't, sadly, have the answer.

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In the Market Town survey just been done, on the 12 Market Towns in Northumberland the footfall figures for Bedlington were the worst. (I think!)

Market days and non-market days were measured, both figures abysmal.

The question no one will answer is does footfall generate a decent market (and for market read shops in general) or does a decent retail offer (i.e. market, shops etc) generate footfall?

All the meetings I have had recently about this subject won't answer another basic question, why do you think imposing an 18th century solution to a 21st century problem is going to fix it? Has anyone heard about this internet thingy and home delivery?

For Bedlington as a commercial centre to survive it's got to reinvent itself and that will take funding and innovation, not a reliance on 18C business practices and bowing down to the multi nationals.

I know this is all going to squeeze together.........sorry its my little pet virus!

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All fair comment Malcolm; I remain of the belief that it is futile to attempt to attract people to the town for retail purposes. I had this argument many years ago, when the proposed Tesco massive development was first mooted, pointing out that people from Blyth were not going to drive past Asda to come to a Tesco superstore in Bedlington, and likewise Ashington, and so on. people like big 'out of town' superstores as they provide all the necessary in one go (I hate them and prefer to shop online!). In terms of commercial viability, Bedlington itself is dead apart from shops supplying necessary goods, or perhaps those offering a unique service. How all the beauty salons/hairdressers survive is beyond me.

Edited by mercuryg

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One thing I forgot to say, and that I have noticed, is the interesting success of some of the restaurants in the town. Bistro 62, Ashianna's and the-one-where-the-Dun-Cow was who's name I've forgotten all get  consistently excellent reviews and I've seen comments from people who have come from far and wide, especially to the former in that list. Perhaps promoting Bedlington as 'Northumberland;s Premier Place to Eat' sort of thing may have a positive effect!

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Those that supply daily consumables (milk and bread etc) will probably survive, hairdressers probably come into that category! and possibly some local interest specialty businesses. I think cost has taken over from local service!
I enjoy going into the big box stores! (not very often) looking, trying and testing all the options,(computers, TV's etc) tasting fresher food, often getting good advise from experienced assistants, (there are lots of ex-tradesmen sharing their knowledge) picking the right tires, selecting the correct lumber etc I hardly ever buy on line, sometime occasional old car parts. :thumbsup:
 As Malcolm says this is the 21st century, we need to adapt to the technology, (the post office first!)

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"(the post office first!)"

 

At least we still have one Vic! They are a rare commodity these days.

 

"...and thats the type of thing we need to look at and possibly encourage Merc!"

 

It was only half tongue-in-cheek Malcolm! I'm not one to trust online reviews (having been asked to write favourable reviews of hotels/restaurants/services that I have not actually been party to, for a surprisingly handsome payment - and refused, on the grounds of ethics) but experience in the online writing world has taught me to recognise those that are genuine. Usually, suffice to say, they are the negative ones. However, a look at TripAdvisor and Bistro62 has garnered just one review that was anything less than exceptional. I confess I have yet to try it (I did when it was Accolade, and very impressed I was) but whatever those people are doing, they are doing it with some considerable success. More than one reviewer described its as 'the best restaurant they have found in Northumberland...' which is no small achievement. Of course, I'm partial to a Wetherspoons steak (medium rare) which on Tuesday's is the bargain of the week.

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I think Merc' & Malc' have the right idea where food is concerned. I think we should concentrate on that side of attracting people to our town and now that winter is around the bend people will be getting the broth pans out. So how about opening a couple of brothels in Bedders!! We could turn all the empty shops & pubs into high class establishments and I will even propose myself for consumer tester. Now I know it's a daunting task and will take up a lot of my time but I'm willing to take one for the team. All those in favour raise your...hand...and say AYE!

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Listened to and read all the comments - however, bottom line is still Bedlington is dead in the water, despite all the hanging baskets!

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There's a lot of debate about online shopping killing off townships and community spirit. 

Let's look at it in perspective. 

I can't even buy a pair of shoes in Bedlington. (I know Tesco has just added a clothes department but...come on...not a great deal of choice.) If I want clothes of any kind I have to go out of town...which in my case means bus fares - £5.50 for a day return to Blyth. So I have that added cost. I get to Blyth and find they don't have what I want. So the next day I go to Ashington - more bus fares. They haven't got what I want either...and you can see where this is leading. An Arriva weekly ticket would cost me £25.50 and that's before I even set foot in a shop. On the other hand I can go online...sit in the comfort of my own home and order what I want...normally at a cheaper price than the shops. I can see what I'm buying and know it will arrive within a week.

You can bury your heads in the sand if you want but online shopping is fantastic. No waiting for buses; no waiting in queues; no turning up at the shop and finding they haven't got your size in.

What I'm trying to say is online shopping is here to stay and it wipes the floor with trudging around the Toon on a cold winter's day. What we need is what Merc' says. Local shops selling local produce at cheap prices. But in case you think I am giving up let's look at some shops that we could really do with in Bedlington...

 

Wilkinsons.

Primark.

Heron's. (good food at good prices)

Shoe Fayre or Priceless.

W.H. Smiths.

 

Just for starters. Let's not knock online shopping...for some it's the only game in town.

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Here's a totally out-of-the-box thought, Malcolm. (Please don't all laugh at once!)

 

What if the Council - or whoever is in charge - leases two or three shops out to the public. (Say for a month's free trial)

One person has that shop for one day. They can sell what they want; ie car-boot stuff, junk they have in their attic, books, records or if they have access to other goods then that, too...WHATEVER. It is their shop for that one day. (9am - 6pm) They give a percentage to the shop owner or council and keep the rest of the profits for themselves. Remember; one person's junk is another person's treasure.

 

I know it sounds crazy but why not give it a go...you can't lose anything by it.

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Would help Keith if the County Council owned any shops in Bedlington, only thing they now own in Bedlington is some land and schools.

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And it will stay dead tomtom unless more people get off their backsides and start doing things instead of just moaning about things.

 

They Whinge and Whine in all the wrong places.

 

And how many of them can tell us the Time Date and Venue of the next Council Meeting?     

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First of all Keith take out this bit...."What if the Council - or whoever is in charge -" coz there nobody in charge. Thats one of the problems no leadership, vision or ambitions for the Town since local government reorganistion in 1972! 1970 BUDC had plans for shopping centre, hotel, sports centre.......all in Bedlington!

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In reply to Vic I don't think that I used the word 'dead' but having thought about it perhaps I should. I walked around the town yesterday and the place is dreadful - I thought that Blyth was bad! Keith has a couple of good ideas though - Wilkinsons would be OK as would a small branch of W H Smiths and as we have a couple of good restaurants which are obviously attracting from folk from outside the town, how about a wine bar! - not such a daft idea. Bottom line of course is that people generate rubbish and the apparent lack of respect for the town from some quarters should be addressed - but by whom I ask!!

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    • A big-hearted donation by one of South East Northumberland’s largest employers has enabled local football club, Bedlington Terriers FC, to provide its players, staff and visitors with rapid emergency response should it ever be needed.
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