Hello, I'm Chrissie. I can't get over how lucky I am to be living at the seaside - I still love living at Cleveleys after being here for more than 15 years. I hope you enjoy my slightly cock-eyed look at life - come back regularly for a look at living beside the seaside, our mad family life and my view on local and topical current affairs. The weather often features, along with the very different things that you get to see and do when you live somewhere like this.
But first.... Off we were again with the dreaded foam yesterday, although the wind is strong and it’s over a 9’ tide so the two together have got to spell foam!
Lots of elbow grease is needed to get it off when the wind drops, I hate the mucky stuff. It looked like a blizzard yesterday morning it was coming so thick and fast, although with the tide on the turn and the sun out it warmed the rooms up nicely. It does look pretty to look at, but my, the cleaning it creates!
I thought I would ask if anyone knew about the news that M&S are closing stores again all over England, if you are interested here are some of them.
In April, the ones marked for the chop are Bournemouth, Birkenhead, Durham, Swansea, Putney and Redditch.
Others that are earmarked are Andover, Basildon, Bridlington, Denton, Falmouth, Fareham, Keighley and Stockport.
I can’t say that I’m surprised myself as we keep saying that they need a new buyer for their fashion parts of the shops as we keep saying, along with friends who say the same, that the fashions are getting by and large dire, to say the least. They just don’t seem to hit the target, are they catering for ancient or very young or what are they doing?!
Last time we went to Blackpool a couple of weeks ago for my birthday, Jane and I commented on how awful a lot of the styles, patterns and colours were.
You could walk round the shop and say, ‘that will be in the sale and that etc’ so it comes as no surprise that the buyers don’t seem to be able to ‘hit the spot’ any more and seem to have lost their way. That of course is my opinion but my hubby and a friend’s hubby have both said that it’s not worth trailing up to the men’s as the clothes are more fitting for 'old men' in the true sense of the word.
Now hubby dear is, I suppose, classed as an 'old man' due to his age, but certainly not with the clothes he wears, not by a long way, so just what men’s age group are they appealing to I wonder?
It just seems a shame that such a great household name is going down the pan as it were, and having to close shops causing misery for a lot of people who work there, don’t you think. But at least their food shops are doing very well. I wouldn’t like to think that Cleveleys was closing as I use it a lot and going by how busy it usually is it must be doing OK, I hope anyway!
I must say that it caused a right conversation in our house at lunch time yesterday as we started reminiscing about the shops that have closed over the years that were household names.
The first ones we said were Woolworths, Littlewoods and BHS although at least they are selling online now. I’m glad of that as I think they did sell some good things and they seem to be selling the same goods that were in the shops, so any BHS fans can still shop with them if they know how to online.
Blockbuster Video’s, MFI, Great Mills the DIY stores, Binns - like the one that used to be in Blackpool, Smiths Do-It-All - yet another DIY shop and on the list goes.
The Sweater shop, John Collier the tailors which made us all start singing ‘the window to watch’ from the TV advert can you remember that one? Lewis’, Netto, Kwik Save, Office World, Richard Shops from the good old days where it was deemed as a bit ’posh’ back in the day as the prices always seemed dearer than Chelsea Girl and all the other similar shops (and of course Chelsea Girl became River Island).
The glory days as people wandered about with the 'Sweater Shop' logo written all over their jumpers as it was just beginning the craze of wearing brand names on clothes to show that you could afford to buy them. While meanwhile advertising the companies themselves, they weren’t daft were they!
I could go on for ages, but as we talked we had a good old walk down memory lane. C&A who had some quite ‘trendy’ things at the time in their hey day and their knickers were so good and lasted ages, better than some you get today.
Chelsea Girl where Jane as a young teenager would like to go and buy things with her friends on a Saturday afternoon while I was walking round saying that the clothes looked cheaply made and were expensive, much to the annoyance of said daughter! It’s amazing how old memories come back when you start discussing them as we all were chipping in with who had closed and who had survived and awakening things long forgotten.
There was Jackson’s the tailors, where hubby had a Saturday job to help pay for things while he was at college for four years. Jane and her Saturday job that she had in British Home Stores as they were then, while in the sixth form at school. We encouraged her to do it to teach her the value of earning her own money, which she still talks about to this day with fond memories. She loved that little job and has always said that it taught her a lot about people and life (and folding towels) while she worked there.
It’s a shame that the High Street is slowly vanishing as online shopping becomes the norm, but when you are used to shopping online, it’s so easy to say ‘I’ll put the computer on and buy it on line’ rather than have to trudge for hours round shops which probably won’t have what you want in stock. So really, the High Street names need to get their thinking caps on and come up with ways to draw customers back into their shops, but somehow I’ll not be holding my breath, what do you think?
It's this marching demise of the high street that's spurring the Cleveleys Coastal Community Team (CCT) on. You probably know that they've got a central government grant, and they're working with Wyre Council to breathe life back into the town centre. You can read about the Coastal Community Team and what they're doing here.
Retail is changing, that much is for sure. The CCT are trying to make Cleveleys 'better than average' so why don't you join in and help?
I'm sorry if you read this at the end of the last blog 9and the one before), but it's important so I'm going to keep repeating it for those who haven't seen it yet.
If you rely on Facebook to tell you when the next episode of my blog is online, you need to know that they're changing the way they show you news.
They are reducing the posts that you see from 'Pages' (the ones that you 'Like') in favour of posts from friends and family and Groups (that you 'Join')
This is their blog post on the subject:
Jane has set me a new group up so that hopefully you'll keep seeing my posts. Even if you already like my Facebook page, please join the group until we all see what effect this latest change is going to have. It also means that we'll be able to talk to each other more easily too - which will be nice.
Join Chrissie Bloggers new Facebook group - at this link www.facebook.com/groups/ChrissieBlogger
The very best way to make sure you catch all of my posts is to get your own Visit Fylde Coast email newsletter.
The previous weeks blogs are all linked on there, along with loads of other interesting things and the coming week's events list too. Sign up for your email newsletter here http://bit.ly/vfc-signup
We've got the same problem with all of our Visit Fylde Coast Facebook pages, so Jane has set up a new group so that our community can continue. Please tell everyone who you know to join it:
Join the Visit Fylde Coast Group - www.facebook.com/groups/visitFyldeCoast