When this dreadful plague is finally gone and defeated and all survivors are fit enough to resume shopping, I (the Stratfordian) would like to put forward an idea for a new Stratford upon Avon.
Actually, to tell the truth (which, if you read this blog, is not something I usually do), the idea I have is not new. It is a return to a different age but not I hasten to add, a *Golden Age.
The idea I have concerns the High Street of my youth (in this case Bristol).
My idea is very basic and is based on the presumption that after the plague there will be gaps in the shopping arena. In other words, I think we have to accept the fact that some of the familiar names on our High Streets WILL NOT return. There will be empty shops that will need to be filled.
Also, and this needs to be taken into consideration, because of the proliferation of on-line shopping during and after the plague, the shops that appear will have to be DIFFERENT.
Therefore, I am mooting the return of shops that, smell.
My first choice; the coffee shop.
In particular, the Coffee shop with bean facilities.
The shop with a giant coffee roaster that blows its delicious fumes onto Stratford upon Avon’s pavements.
(I can remember walking around the Broadmead area of Bristol, wondering what on earth that wondrous scent was. We weren’t big on coffee in those days).
What an attraction.
A magnificent selling point.
A Fabulous way to create a real Town atmosphere.
My next suggestion for a smelly shop is of course, the fishmonger.
Love it or loathe it the deep aroma of fish conjures up so much. All those memories of what you thought were long forgotten holidays by the sea.
There’s also the sense of community that the purchase of such an everyday item to nearly everyone’s diet brings. Like Bread, Fish is essential.
The High street will not only need shoppers. It will need to be helping itself.
Gone will be the days when every shop looked more or less the same.
After the plague shopping will have to become an experience.
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*Golden age. A time fixed firmly in and only in the imagination. A time that some folks believe existed but actually didn’t.