You’ve heard about the so-called death of our High Streets which are struggling because ‘Everyone shops on-line these days’.
In truth, not ‘everyone’ does. Yes, some main shopping streets are lined with empty premises, their doorways occupied by homeless people in tents.
But, only last year, I wrote about Crickhowell, Powys, winning the award for the Best UK High Street – 2018.
Well, Wales has done it for a second year running!
Treorchy is perhaps most famous for its Male Voice Choir and Max Boyce’s career-making ‘Live At Treorchy’ album recorded at the wonderful Parc and Dare Theatre. The Rhondda Valley town has now added another feather to its cap as it recently won the award for Best UK High Street – 2019!
The bustling main street has more than 100 shops and a 96% occupation rate. Two empty shops, currently being refurbished, will be opening their doors soon. So, why is Treorchy, as they say, ‘bucking the trend’?
Perhaps it’s because the majority of the shops and cafes are independently run and have been there for years, so they’ve each built-up a loyal customer base that spans the generations.
There are many cities and towns where shops open and close almost before you’re aware they exist, so I find what’s happened in Treorchy really heartening.
The UK’s High Street Minister Jake Berry said: “The award reflects the grit and determination of local people who are determined to support their community.”
The person who started the ball rolling for Treorchy to receive the award is local pub owner Adrian Emmett and on the day the award was announced ITV Wales sent a female reporter and camera crew to his pub.
Unfortunately, while Adrian was being interviewed, some of the local ‘characters’ at the bar started behaving childishly, taking turns to slide up behind Adrian and gurn at the camera or give a ‘thumbs up’ sign before laughing at their own ‘hilarious’ but not very original antics that I thought died out in the 70s!
A new award should be given to the stoic ITV Wales reporter for keeping her professional cool in the face of ‘absurdity’!