It’s easier to complain, isn’t it? The weather, news, your street and town. But complaining doesn’t really get you anywhere. 

As I mentioned in my previous post I set up a facebook group to coincide with a twitter account I acquired a few months ago. It’s all about my hometown of Chester-le-Street. I thought it would be a good thing to provide general information. It was great to be able to get out news about weather and roads during the terrible snowstorm that affected most of the country and brought a lot of infrastructure to a standstill.


I thought too that it would be a good thing to capture the spirit of the town to mark fifty years since a film was put together and archived by local cine camera enthusiasts.

The above link is to the film of the town. What I good idea I thought to myself to have something people could see in fifty years time of what life was like in 2018.

The rot started pretty quickly as I asked for people’s ideas about what to film in the town.   Someone started to complain about the empty shops and I should spend my time quizzing local councillors about what they plan to do with the town for the future. I am fully aware that my town like others across the country is facing a huge change due to how people shop for goods and where we spend our money. The traditional shops of the past have gone and replaced by the cheaper out of town retail parks and the obvious use of the internet.

I don’t think any council has the single answer and able to provide full occupancy for shops and businesses it’s a huge balancing act of budgets and cuts from central government. We do have quite a lot as a town.  We are unique as we are close motorway and east coast links. Surrounded by smaller villages the town itself is a direct connection to other major cities in the region.

Nostalgia and the yearning to return to the good old days of the past aren’t simply unhelpful but also unobtainable. The world has changed and for us to survive we have to change too whether we like it or not.

So I say we look to the future with a positive upbeat note. We can achieve good things if each of us is willing to contribute.

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the barefoot tree

Still grumpy

Gari Wellingham

UK-based musical theatre geek previously living with a brain tumour!

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