Xville was not a large village, on the high street there were only a few shops, the butcher, the bakery, a post office, general store and the haberdasher as well.
What are the chances today that any village in the UK could offer such a variety of retail experience? Very slim I would have thought since many are struggling not only to maintain a single village shop but also to hang onto their local pub. The question is ‘Are we any the poorer for this state of affairs?’
I would argue that yes, we most definitely are. Local businesses deliver something so very different from the ‘pile em high, sell em cheap’ philosophy of the large supermarkets. Local retailers smile and wave at you as you go by. They notice when you haven’t been in for a while. They buy stock with you in mind.
People will quote price as the main reason for heading for the superstore, yet the minute it snows, or the wheels are broken, it is to the local store they turn for help. Older people and those with small children need local shops, and frankly they are just altogether nicer places to be (in the main).
It isn’t economical to buy everything from the local deli but a cup of coffee from an independent cafe or a joint of beef from the local butcher are what keeps the money in our communities (rather than being shipped around the globe in some form of complex tax dodge) and the heart in our towns and villages. So shop local.
P.s these gorgeous flowers are from The Secret Garden in Beaconsfield