1st April

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We went to visit the new garden centre that’s just opened near us today. It’s been built on some old industrial land near the big Tesco store that itself was recently expanded. The initial impression is that it has improved what was a rather depressing area of the town. The car park was full to overflowing and it took us a while to find somewhere to park but then as it’s new I suppose that is to be expected.

What we didn’t expect was that it appears to be much more that just a garden centre as it had a butcher’s counter as well as areas selling wine and beers (although I thought it could have had more emphasis on local products), homewares and a cafe. The outside area was immense and I found it too big to be of use, too many stands with the same things on them. The prices too were very high – for example a small greenhouse that we had seem in Wilkinsons a few days earlier for £13 was selling here for £20. It is definitely aimed at the “more money than sense” brigade.

I found it all very depressing that such a shop could open in an area where there is such a huge number of people on low incomes. The “let them eat cake attitude” still seems to prevail and there are obviously large numbers of people who are untouched by the current financial crisis. In fact the number of people stuffing their faces in the cafe where a sandwich and a coffee wouldn’t get you much change out of a tenner was testament to that. I’m guessing the market the shop is aimed at isn’t necessarily the local one but those who will drive there, buy tasteless garden ornaments, have a spot of lunch before getting back to their middle England lives behind closed gated (real or otherwise) communities! However once the novelty of the place wears off it will remain to be seen whether or not it can sustain such high prices.

And the urinals had to be seen to be believed!

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