I have noticed over the past few months in particular the increase in letters bemoaning the fact that Chesterfield is not the place it used to be.
It is certainly not the busy, friendly town it was many years ago I feel.
I remember all the high class shops where a man could get clothes for all seasons and events, and the ladies had a marvellous selection of shops selling dresses, coats, shoes etc.
People in the 1930s onwards used to have clothes to suit most occasions, weddings, church, dances, funerals etc.
I can hear some people saying ‘that was then, this is now.’ But ‘then’ was better than ‘now’ in my view. I have lived in both and I certainly know which I prefer.
Of course we must not forget the people of Chesterfield. The people who live and shop in Chesterfield can add, or detract to the town. Many years ago, a friend of mine said to me: “A town or city is only as good as the people who go there.” I think there is a lot of truth in that.
Like some of the people who are noticing the change in Chesterfield, I have walked down the street of a thousand sandwich boards and had to walk in the roadway to avoid tripping on the piles of plastic shopping baskets, which are placed on what was once a pedestrian pavement. I have had to wend my way through a sea of aluminium tables and chairs that allow people to drink their coffee ‘al fresco’. I have seen half of Central Pavement taken over by stalls that should be in the market. I have seen delivery vans queueing on Central Pavement due to only having half a road available. I have negotiated the obstacle course on Low Pavement.
The customer used to be ‘king’ now he has been relegated to rank of ‘knave’.
I had been, for quite a long time, walking around Chesterfield playing the nostalgia game, trying to recall all the lovely shops from my youth. I remember most things from the 1930s and 40s. The war years, now there’s a thought. I can honestly say I had a better time during the war than what I have now.
It all happened very quickly. I was standing at the top of Packers’ Row trying to visualise where the penny bazaar used to be when this voice bellowed out from what seemed 400 yards away. The voice was mouthing really horrible obscenities and another voice was mouthing more obscenities back.
After a day or so I wrote a letter to this page (best part of two years ago) stating that I would not be going to Chesterfield any more. I suppose some people read the letter and thought ‘he’ll be back,’ but I have not been to Chesterfield since I wrote that letter. So, take my advice, don’t keep moaning about the deterioration of Chesterfield, because it will never get better.
The council is not interested in my opinion. The police are never seen. It has become a one-horse town. I did a ‘Chexit’ and never regretted it.
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