Yesterday Mister E and I had a brief mosey along Northallerton High Street, closed to traffic as it celebrated the 1940's. With live music, albeit an empty dance floor on the pavement in front, bomb disposal experts, an array of vintage and classic vehicles in use in the 1940's, GI brides, nurses with babies in prams and shops with themed windows it was a unique transformation. Coupled with a blue sky, it certainly seemed to have brought the crowds out.
Too often and too close to home we hear about shops closing and the difficulties faced by retailers with competition from online sales, increased business rates and the limited spending power of consumers as their wages stagnate and austerity, coupled with the impending effect of Brexit, continues.
I'm sure demographics must be playing a part too, as more and more of us leave the workplace and move into retirement leaving impulse purchasing behind.
Setting aside the whole issue of fostering nostalgia for bygone years (especially those associated with a role in World War Two) it is good to know that the councils and others are working hard to keep the appeal of our local town centre and by innovation seeking to prevent its decline. It is after all only two weeks since the same street was closed to host a 10k run, following its previous closure for the annual May Fair and the Tour de Yorkshire, only three weeks before that.
For many spending power in retirement may be less, but let's please try to apply our expenditure in shopping locally when we can.