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Friday, 3 July 2020

You turn your back for a minute...

You turn your back for a minute and everything changes! Well, I suppose by 'a minute' I really mean three months. It must be at least as long ago as that since I drove (or walked) through the part of Shipley town centre that lies beyond the shops and market square. There used to be a drive-through automatic car-wash here. I sometimes used to take my daughter through it as a treat when she was little (in the car, of course!!) as the whirling brushes and soapy white-out used to make her giggle. The car-wash ceased to be, driven out of business by several 'hand car washes' in the neighbourhood, mostly staffed by Eastern European migrants. They work hard and generally do a good job. Anyway, this little bit of land sat idle for several years but it appears now that there is a business developing it, with a new showroom under construction. I'll take bets on what it will be... a car dealer? 

The building beyond is flats with a retail unit on the ground floor that currently (and curiously to my mind) houses a branch of Laura Ashley, the clothing and homewares chain. I say curiously because it sits well away from Shipley's main shopping centre and, though it has a small car park, seems a bit of an anachronism. They closed the branch in Leeds city centre, which always seemed as though it would attract more custom. I'm also taking bets that this branch will fall victim to the post pandemic recession. I can't really see it surviving unless high-street retail bounces back quickly.  


  1. (When I've got over the idea of you pushing your daughter through the car-wash in her buggy I'll try to think of something sensible to say).
    Yes, I've never understood the retail world at all. Again and again in Cambridge you see a high-class clothing retailer, which never seems to have any customers, close down. After an expensive refit it re-opens as....another high-class clothing retailer. Meanwhile shops like Woolworths, which was always busy, disappears and is replaced by Next, which isn't.

    1. Me neither... If this is to be a car dealership, there is a massive car showroom recently closed down and empty directly opposite!

  2. Digital firms such as Amazon have really driven a coach and horses through high-street retail. Many men such as myself have always detested trailing through shops.

  3. I miss those Eastern European migrants cleaning my car. They were very efficient at cleaning both the inside and the outside of my car for a reasonable price, but the upped sticks with wretched Brexit.

  4. I wonder if shops will recover at all.

  5. Retail shops...who knows who will survive and thrive? I want to hear more about what happens with the space under construction.