The High Street lives on!

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’!

When you almost park on top of a Fiat 500 in a hospital car park

Research has shown that we spend four days a year searching for a car parking space – unless you’re in Morriston Hospital car park, then it’s four days a week!

No doubt, it will continue to be for years to come as the challenges faced with parking seem to be increasing on a regular basis.

Millions have been spent on new buildings and improved services, which it provides for thousands of patients in Wales and beyond.

The Morriston site is home to many unsung heroes, with a passion for making a difference, despite being grossly underfunded. The overworked staff are stretched to the limit, but still manage to do a great job, many of whom perform at a level over and above the normal call of duty.

Anyway, I digress.  Car parks!

Do you know what my latest gripe is?  When you are going round and round in circles to try and find a space, then out of nowhere it appears, you eagerly approach the space and position the car for the perfect reverse manoeuvre, only to find a Fiat 500 is parked there already, but is so small you can only see it as you almost park on top of it!

Don’t tell me I am the only person to have done this?