Page18 - The village heart beat, Road sign thefts

Keeping the heart of the Village Beating

I visited my sister and her husband a few weeks ago. They had recently moved house, back into the area in which we grew up and which I hadn't been back to since I moved away some twenty years ago.

As I drove through the high street on the way to them I was shocked to see how much it had changed. It seemed that all the shops that I remembered from my childhood had made way for fast food take-away outlets, estate agents and sports bars. When we were kids the high street was full of useful shops like bakers, butchers and even a wool shop which my mother used frequently. They were closed on Sundays and only opened half-days on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

This got me thinking about how lucky we are in Chorleywood to have such a thriving shopping centre, with a good variety of stores. From the mini-supermarket to the garden/toolshop. from the giftshop to the bookshop, and so many more. So many high streets, like the one I had visited, lack these basic essentials.

The shopping centre is the very heart of a community. I live on Lower Road and every day I see people meeting up by chance and chatting with their friends and neighbours. I'm constantly doing this and spend ages gossiping, or taking a healthy interest in human nature as my wife prefers to call it. It is not easy just to pop to the shops for a loaf of bread and get back quickly.

Without this diversity of shops stocking pretty much everything we need, would we have such a close community`? l don't think so. Britain is now well and truly in the middle of a recession so, more than ever, this is an important time to support our local shops. 

Customer Service
In a small community a local business relies on you and there they do what they can to retain your custom. Word of mouth can be a very powerful tool. It can create a successful business and just as easily destroy it. And their friendliness reilects this by the way they focus on you and your needs. 

Many of the stores on Lower Road are specialists so, where better to go when you need help and advice on the products they are selling? We wish them prosperity and hope they will stay with us for a long time.

THEFT OF ROAD SIGNS

Road signs are being stolen. You could almost imagine it being part of a television comedy sketch show but unfortunately in reality these losses have the potential for very serious consequences.

Police recently intercepted a van, jam-packed with road signs, some of which turned out to have been taken from Chorleywood. One of the most important signs taken was the chevron sign from a sharp turn along Shepherds Lane. At night, especially, an unsuspecting motorist could quite easily not see the bend they were approaching, with possible disastrous consequences. 

lt really is a sad sign (no pun intended) of the times, especially as these signs have no scrap value whatsoever since they are made out of a type of plastic. There is in fact a notice on the rear of the signs pointing this out. Maybe the notice should be on the front! The County Council is in the process of reinstating the stolen signs.


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