I’ve cast my mind back and here are my thoughts on the matter:
I have lived in the area all of my life, growing up in the nearby fishing village of Allworth. I then made the huge move to Stroud where I have lived and worked since, with little stints here and there of working outside of Stroud.
This is certainly long enough for me to remember a Stroud where you couldn’t find a decent coffee within cooee, the two wonderful bakeries that we have today didn’t even exist, nor the quick stop coffee & cake shop, the newsagency had stock that had to be dusted off before a purchaser could even entertain the idea, there were no crafts and antiques stores and the local cafe visit could score you a pie that had been sitting in the warmer for no less than a week. Oh and the supermarket didn’t even exist, you had to drive out of town for at least 45 minutes to find one of those. No wonderful permaculture courses & gardens, B & B’s, produce stores, vineyards, nursery or farmgates. No pharmacy for your local health conveniences and only one doctor. Of course all of these outlets; including my Real Estate Agency lead to local employment. They are all things which new locals to the area might take as a given.
The fact of the matter is that in days gone by you could shoot a cannon ball down the main street of Stroud most days and not hit anyone, it was so bare. I’m quite sure I’m not the only one who remembers such times.
These were the times of Stroud when it had very little growth and not very many visitors. Todays Stroud is a lovely place to live and visit. Because of this the town is slowly but surely gaining more fabulous shops, facilities and conveniences. An abundance of our heritage buildings have thankfully been saved from the dereliction they once faced in years gone by.
No I don’t care for a McDonalds in town or a traffic jam, but oh for some more lovely organic, healthy foods, beverages and a choice of decorator items and art without travelling would be divine. As a business owner in a small regional town I know the struggle is real folks. You have to fight for your life every single day to keep your head above water. You also implore locals to support you and not send their dollars outside to other towns and therefore other peoples benefit. (As the local agency we volunteer, give back, sponsor & donate extensively within our area)
As a district we have to support our locals and encourage growth within our area. I for one don’t want the ability to shoot any cannon balls down the main street ever again! Bring on the growth and bring on the visitors to our gorgeous little town I say! People attracted to our town is what allows us to have more wonderful retail outlets and facilities.
Also forgive me but I’m quite sure that even if I packed up and went home from my Real Estate business today never to return I still wouldn’t want the only choice of a caffeine hit in Stroud to go back to being a powdered Nescafe 45 blend ever again!
Let’s not be greedy, lets share our heritage and beautiful town with those that are interested.