IS Huddersfield turning into one big pound shop?
I ask this after visiting the great big pound shop that used to be Woolworths.
Then there are all the other budget shops down at the Wilkinson and Primark end of town.
Years ago, every town centre was different.
There would be chain stores, of course, but also locally owned shops, plus indoor and outdoor markets.
There was variety and a heartbeat to a town centre.
Women went shopping on the bus, often dragging with them reluctant children.
They would go to a butcher’s for meat, a fruit and veg shop for fruit and veg, a bread shop for tea cakes, loaves and pastries.
Woolies was the pound store of the day, although market stalls would also offer bargains. There was variety, choice.
Now shopping is no longer the province of the woman of the house.
Couples or families go together to out-of-town supermarkets with huge car parks and buy everything they need in the one place.
What started as food stores now sell clothes, electrical goods, books and records and lots more.
Add to this the out-of- town malls and complexes and town centres are under threat of redundancy.
They have their fans, but I find Meadhowhall and the Trafford Centre soulless places to be avoided.
Thank goodness Huddersfield has the Kingsgate Centre, which is just the right size not to dominate, and the other quality shops that cling to New Street and the town centre.
At least we still have a focal point so that shopping involves a choice and a walk through a historic town with great architecture and quirky lanes, good pubs and bistros, and weather.
Sun, rain or snow, weather adds to the shopping experience.
I suppose this sounds like the ranting of a grumpy old man, and I know that change is inevitable, but I do not look forward to the day when all the small shops have been beaten out of business, and we are left with one huge hangar of a superstore where there are no assistants and you check your own goods out at a robot till.