It must have been the end of July the butcher shop closed, since that’s the first notice from WMH Meats in Allendale area notices, that the Haydon Bridge firm would be delighted to take orders from, and deliver to, Allendale addresses.
I interviewed the butcher early this year, and there were high hopes that with a refreshed business strategy the shop could remain open. Sadly for the village, at slightly over half-way through the year, the shop has indeed closed.
Anyone might wonder what the Co-op, who own Kirton House, will do with the premises: will they seek to rent out the shop again? There must be near-impossible financial/business/footfall considerations for an independent shop there, in these recessionary times, but maybe the Co-op itself could expand its meat and deli counter, to provide more sandwich-type lunch fare for locals working throughout the valleys? Only I’ve heard this sort of suggestion more than once, so I convey it along here.
But these are indeed perilous financial times, and nobody knows what might transpire by the end of October, here in the currently United Kingdom. We came back from Budle Bay Wednesday afternoon quite refreshed from our mini-break, but driving along through Hexham — the closed shops on Priestpopple, man! I’ve not seen it so bad in the past thirty years.
So it feels like we’re currently living along in a very phoney interval — in moments of personal fear I suspect it’s like the phoney war I learned of as a schoolboy, before the invasion of Poland on the 1st of September, 1939. Early in September, I guess, we’ll know more about what might, or might not happen in terms of the great unmentionable issue of the day. Allendale Diary will be observing, noting, recording, ruminating and pondering on those matters as they come along in the context of local concerns, of course. But when everyone is clutching their pocketbooks close to their hearts, spending less and less against the fearsome future, and when shops are closing down, the great unmentionable filters down to local consciousness.
Meanwhile, the great British summer time trundles along cheerfully, blithely you might say, and we’re caught up in it too. There’s nothing really to do except grin and bear it as it comes, is there?
But don’t forget WMH Meats for your early barbecue choices!