Sunday, 14 August 2011
Sadly, the pub is gradually dying out as a British institution. We are going the way of Europe with demand for places where everybody can go for a drink and a meal - and who's to say that is a bad thing? The difference between us and the more socially adept Europeans is that we have a nasty element among us who want to get drunk, to threaten people, to eff and blind and generally show the British to be a backward and immoral race. People want to take their children into our pubs and it is at the owners discretion whether he allows it. I have no time for those who also want to smoke in pubs as that is pure anti-sociability. My suggestion to you all is to use what pubs we have left, especially the good ones. Sadly the bad ones will die through no fault other than the managements. The law cannot be changed back to the rose-tinted times of the past, nor should it. Supermarkets have been given the right to sell cheap booze. That cannot be taken away from them, any more than we should go back to stigmatising single mothers, homosexuals, spongers, the work-shy, etc. We have made our bed so now we need to lie on it.
Saturday, 6 August 2011
From my point of view I see Colchester's future as one based on tourism, culture, entertainment, food and drink - and quality shopping. I don't want any big stores inside the town and believe that the likes of John Lewis should all be out of town, on a site comparable (and competing) with Braintree's Freeport. We need to attract people of all sorts to Colchester, to our shopping parks at Tollgate, to our quality small shops in the town centre, to the Castle and our museums, to the VAF and other art based locations, to the zoo, our hotels and restaurants, to Leisure World, etc. We all know that Colchester cannot handle car traffic at all well. So the Tollgate style shopping area makes the shopping experience attractive to car driving shoppers, especially if there is a Park and Ride facility as well to compliment, rather than compete with, our shops. There is huge potential for all types of visitors to our town, yet we get this petty political squabbling over the scraps. Like the old bull and the young bull. Rather than rush in and have a few of the heifers, take your time, stroll in and have the lot!”
Times are hard and they are going to get a lot harder. People don't seem to realise that. Keeping Tymperleys open costs a lot of money and that money has to be earned rather than funded from our taxes. Sadly, Colchester cannot earn that money because it has failed as a tourist destination. All it is interested in is getting visitors to visit the castle where they can earn some money and to get visitors to pay high parking charges to get access to the consequently dwindling shops. It cannot be a mere coincidence that they have closed both our clock museum and our social history museum, both well away from the Castle Museum. At the same time the council pats itself on the back for what a good job it is doing. A total lack of vision! Let's throw them all out and put businessmen and townsfolk in place that have the necessary vision to bring Colchester back from the brink. Let's learn lessons from other top tourist locations.”