August 8, 2015 at 9:15 am #98235
I note with interest and some amazement, the comments made by Cllr. Gregory (Plaid Cymru) when commenting on the need or otherwise of a Art and Culture hub in Wrexham. It seems patently obvious that his comments that “Wrexham is a pie and chips town” must be based solely on his own predilections.
Cllr. Gregory has every right to express a personal opinion but by the use of the term Councillor before his name, indicates that it has some sort of official backing by his cohorts, if not by the party itself.
Cllr. Gregory has been given the opportunity to make his opinion known but let me try and balance the books by what I consider the Welsh Nationalists view of what art and culture means. I stress this is a personal opinion using the same generic brush strokes that Cllr. Gregory has:
Visual Art. An A2 poster of the Welsh Rugby Team.
Festivals. The National Eisteddfod.
Dance. Grandads at a family wedding.
Music. Sospan Bach sung by a Male Voice Choir.
My statements, which may seem foolish to some, are no further removed from the truth than those made by an Indepenant Councillor who suddenly sprouted his political wings.
I leave it to others to decide which viewpoint has more authenticity.August 8, 2015 at 12:02 pm #98236
I find myself in agreement with BenM, and while my spare tyre indicates my love of pie & chips, anything that actually brings something to the town has to be seen as a positive!
Whether it be a prison or supermarket etc etc, it does bring jobs and infrastructure improvements and increased bus services.
If Asda had not moved to Bodhyfryd then Alexandra – St Christopher’s – Morgan Llwyd would not have the excellent facilities that they have today for instance.
The People’s market has never quite recreated the old Lambpit street indoor market [which should never have been allowed to go!] which was vibrant, busy and welcoming, but that was 1977 and all that. Unfortunately [or not] today you can buy everything on line, or even or Tesco/Asda and park outside free, so however hard the market traders try, it is a different world now. Not everyone will agree or want the same things, but each to its own in perfect harmony on piano’s!August 8, 2015 at 4:54 pm #98243
This should not be a debate about what kind of town Wrexham is but what it wants to be facing the future. I agree with much of what Benjamin says…..and also agree that the Arts should be developed in the town. Personally, I think that the Council has slipped up big time with the chosen location and should have developed this particular site in the way that Bury have redeveloped their Market sites. Markets in small towns like Wrexham provide a hub for the selling and buying of local produce by small scale operators. The fact that our Markets have been run by people who have no idea…..should not blind us to the value that they could add to a town.August 9, 2015 at 8:38 pm #98269
It seems to me that this Cllr ( kieth Gregory) and Plaid as a party have no aspirations for our beloved town😜August 9, 2015 at 9:57 pm #98273
wrexham is not the town it once was, i remember the old market with the two stone lions by the entrance, and no they should not have been pulled down, but thats down to the council, they have no concept of retaining the towns history and seem obsessed with giving planning to either tin sheds or monstrosities like eagles meadow. And the cllr is wrong about wrexham being a pie and chips town, because you would struggle to find a decent chippy in wrexham these days, all the ones i have been to couldnt cook chips if their life depended on it and thats their business.August 11, 2015 at 11:05 pm #98375
In my opinion, the hub of Wrexham Town Centre was destroyed by firstly, the demolition of the Rose and Crown public house on the corner of Chester Street and Lambpit Street and then the Vegetable Market site along with the Raglan public house and the local businesses located both side of Lambpit Street along with a very good fish and chip shop called the Empire, never bought any pie and chips there though. Have you seen Henblas Street lately, what a disgrace? Gone are the stalwarts of the street, The Hippodrome, Family Fashions, Covent Garden and other local businesses such as Wright’s Corner, where my mother purchased my first Grove Park Grammar School outfit. I miss old Wrexham with all the stalls in the Vegetable market, Padgetts, where I bought my Sargent Peppers LP.August 18, 2015 at 9:24 pm #98707
While there are a lot of valid points here, they teeter on the brink of going too far the other way, which is just as damaging! The “good old days” brigade would have you believe that nothing good has been done to Wrexham since it’s “heydays” … while on the one hand trying to defend Wrexham’s potential, they are actually taking it away with the other hand by saying that Wrexham has made no progress and should be stuck in the past!
The world changes! The changes that have happened in Wrexham are not completely independent of the changes in the world in general, they are the result of those changes. It’s all very well harking back to the days when Wrexham had a thriving market … but those were the days when it also had enormous steel works and chemical factories, which brought in a larger population of employed people with money to spend! But also blanketed the area in clouds of pollution and mountains of dirt!
Change happens! And it’s not all good, but it’s not all bad either! There are frequent attacks on the “monstrosity” of Eagles Meadow … but do you know what? That’s the one clean, tidy, well-maintained building in the whole of the town centre! Personally I’d rather be there than in some of the dirty, run-down hovels that pass for shops and pubs in the other parts of town! Some of the buildings in the rest of town NEED to be pulled down … some are a downright danger!
I’ve not lived here as long as many of you, I never saw the “heydays” with my own eyes, but I’ve seen the pictures, and yes, it’s great to see the High Street bustling and the shops busy, but I have no doubt that people then had just as much to complain about, it was just different complaints. I bet half of them didn’t shop in Wrexham purely out of choice, I bet they couldn’t afford to travel any further, in the days when incomes were lower, transport was limited and it took a lot longer to get anywhere!
As you look at those photos of the busy bustling streets, just imagine that half of them are actually muttering to themselves under their breath, “I’m fed up of shopping in this dump, I want to be shopping in Chester or Shrewsbury but I just don’t have the money to go that far!” Then fast forward to today when we have the luxury of choice but now we’re all muttering under our breath, “I’m fed up of having to go to Chester or Shrewsbury to find good shops, it’s too far away, but what does this dump have to offer me?”
Basically, we all just want what we haven’t got and then when we get it we all decide we preferred what we had before! If Eagles Meadow was demolished and the old markets and pubs were reinstated, it wouldn’t be long before we all took to these very forums complaining about the lack of progress in the town and how bored we are with the same old same old, and it’s time for something new!August 18, 2015 at 11:05 pm #98711
Just thought that I would print this up for you Philip. Also I would suggest that you check out Bury Market’s website to see how a well run Market can play a wonderful role in a small(ish) town in 2015. Nice piece of conflating to bracket Markets with other Historic features, but the parallel is not good.
“British market towns that have retained their traditional markets are more healthy, more socially active, provide better food security and promote sustainability, according to new research.
The research provides the strongest evidence to date of the ‘market effect’ increasing a town’s vitality and viability, including by increasing footfall between 15 and 27 per cent compared to towns without markets. There are nearly 400 market towns in Britain.
The research, by Professor Alan Hallsworth, based at the University of Portsmouth, and colleagues was commissioned and is published by the National Association of British Market Authorities (Nabma).
Professor Hallsworth, visiting research fellow at Portsmouth Business School, said: “We can unequivocally say markets contribute to the economic, social and political health of towns and cities.
“Footfall is a key indicator of town and city centre performance, representing activity, usage and relevance. Towns and cities with markets are attractive and welcoming to all, not just those with money to spend. We argue that a busy town is a healthy town.”
The research also found there is potential for markets to contribute further to an area’s vitality by leading the way in helping more ‘fixed’ forms of retailing adapt to the changing expectations people have of their towns and cities.
The researchers examined all the published evidence on the ‘market effect’ going back several years, and carried out additional new research based on commercially-collected footfall data.
They found that markets contribute to every one of the top 25 key priorities identified in the High Street UK 2020 project to improve town centre vitality and viability, including:
◾Markets are worth an estimated £10.5bn to the UK economy;
◾Markets and their related businesses and activities are a significant employer of local people;
◾Markets act as incubators to small and micro businesses, offering diversity of goods and encouraging new business start-ups;
◾Income from markets supports wider local authority services;
◾Markets are inter-generational, employing extended family members, and offer entry-level employment for the low skilled;
◾Through markets, small businesses have direct access to individuals and local businesses, to whom they can become suppliers, encouraging diversity of goods and a strong sense of social cohesion;
◾Farmers can make significantly better profits selling direct to consumers at specialist markets than via supermarkets, contributing to the sustainability of farming, the traceability of food and a vital link between urban and rural life;
◾The atmosphere of markets attracts tourists and provides a town with a distinct identity;
◾Because they are used by all age groups and sections of society, markets promote strong social interaction;
◾Because it is relatively easy to become a trader, markets have historically provided newcomers to the UK or to an area with a way of becoming part of society.
The research was carried out at the request of the National Association of British Market Authorities and has been incorporated into the wider work of the High Street UK 2020 project, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council”August 19, 2015 at 7:25 am #98726
I have to say Philip, you’re doing a smashing job of blaming the customer, it’s not a policy with a constructive or successful past however.
Google things like British Leyland for example.August 19, 2015 at 1:53 pm #98741
Of course the other popular Council retort is “there is no demand in Wrexham for quality ______” (insert as appropriate).
Which is plainly silly because just the other evening I witnessed a large colony of smart, middle-class 30-somethings moping around High street searching for anything that wasn’t cooked and packaged 5 months ago on an industrial estate..
There again, as my butcher says, nobody in the area eats fish as he doesn’t see the demand for it..
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