Lewes Forum thread

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An overheard conversation on a common lament

On 5 Jul 2007 at 3:09pm Maddy wrote:
I was on the bus from Barcombe yesterday and I overheard three elderly-ish local ladies talking about Lewes and about how they hardly ever go there anymore... because of the parking and the shops.
One said that with free parking at Uckfield and cheap parking at H Heath she doesn't really go to Lewes now because she can't afford it. Another was trying to buy a dressing gown for her ill husband but she said now that McKays has closed there is nowhere to buy thngs like that. She was saying she'd just ebbn to Tavistock in Devon and how lovely a town it was, with proper shops selling local produce and an excellent weekly market.
They all agreed 'our county town' was suffering.
How can we get proper local farmers to come and sell their wares regularly in town? There are hardly any proper local fruit and veg sellers in Lewes (I'm not counting Bill's)... and it breaks my heart when I hear about local farmers selling up because effing supermarkets are driving the price of milk down so far their livings become unsustainable. Who can we apply some pressure on in order to do our bit for local producers?
On 5 Jul 2007 at 3:34pm Andy wrote:
It's the same old arguement about Lewes...too many twee little shops selling nic-naks to the middle class person who has everything.
In my humble opinion, we need a clothes shop along the lines of Peacocks or primark, we desperately need a market on a saturday selling fruit and veg etc, we need some competition in the butchers, bakers and fish mongers dept, we need to plead to Iceland to come back.....how about a mens shoe shop that sells trainers....and not just 100 a pair ones !!!....how about a decent aquarium shop ? Oh....and i'd welcome a Wilkinsons with open arms but it's just too "cheap" for Lewes
And on top of all of that.....FREE parking on a weekend is essential if we're not to see this town fall on its a**e.
I only ever go into Lewes if there's something i specifically want these days such as something for fishing and even then i tend to go to Burgess Hill
On 5 Jul 2007 at 4:04pm MC wrote:
Really, there's a good fishing shop at Burgess Hill? I found one at Haywards Heath the other day... so much more stock than Percys.
Still no-one seems to stock Abu Garcia Reflex spinners nowadays.
Got a 12lb Pike by the Anchor the other night and two Carp (11 and 14 lb) the next night. Bleedin' river's the the colour of mud now tho.
Couldn't agree more about Lewes shoes. Criminally expensive. I'd like a George and a good baker that doesn't smell of mouldy cheese.
I go into Lewes less and less. The only thing that makes me return is the truly exceptional Terry's Fisheries in the covered market.
On 5 Jul 2007 at 9:05pm Madge wrote:
Ive lived in Lewes all my life (50+ yrs) and seen its many changes. I love this town and all its familiar aspects that make it my home. Ive never had any incling to uproots and leave but I rarely actually shop in this town nowadays. its fine to browse around the overpriced goods in the fancy shops but there is nothing here for normal everyday family needs :-(
On 6 Jul 2007 at 10:23am Maddy wrote:
I've never heard of Wilkinsons but I agree with you on a 'more basics' front - like sock and knickers - where do you get them from? (Not Tescos, I don't go there).
I was in Thame, in Oxfordshire, last year and on weekday mornings there was a brilliant market... you could get groceries AND wool socks and rugs and stuff AND fresh meat and fish AND household/DIY stuff... really - why don't we have one of those in Lewes?
I went to the French market the other week (I'm sure it's exactly the same people and stalls as come to Lower Marsh near Waterloo once or twice a month) and I swear - everything was at least three times as expensive as it would be in France (tin of cassoulet for 6 quid, anyone?). Why can we host expensive French markets and not one of our own that sells decently priced, useful goods?
On 6 Jul 2007 at 10:58am Braindead wrote:
Wilkinsons is great for bargains...I go to the one in Horsham...a Primark would also be great esp. for kids stuff.
Lewes is hopeless for most everyday stuff...Woolworths is too small.... so i say YES we want a Tesco BIG store...
On 6 Jul 2007 at 7:22pm Andy wrote:
So it does seem that many of us commoners want/need the same thing in Lewes....a good saturday market selling produce and clothing that is not over-priced, a good diversity of shops to cater for all tastes, sexes and pay packets and free parking at the weekend.
If anyone doesn't agree, they've had long enough to register their protest.
So the next step is....what are we going to do about it ?
On 9 Jul 2007 at 10:04pm Digga wrote:
From what I understand about the situation, most of these big high street names are 'desperate' to open stores in our fantastic town, but each time they apply for an empty unit, tey are turned down by - whoever, and the lot is given to another knick-knack, or charity shop.
I too have lived in Lewes all of my life, and I spend most of my money in Burgess Hill, because it has everything. A saturday market, Iceland, Primark, a fantastic fishing tackle shop, a choice of bakeries (that don't smell of mouldy cheese) a choice of fast food restaurants, the list is endless.
Rant over :-)
On 9 Jul 2007 at 10:53pm The Webmaster wrote:
If there's any other way you think a website like this can help let me know I would be happy to put up a poll or an online petition or even email forms to mail directly to the people who make the decisions.
There is obviously a lot of positive thinking going on about this subject, although I think the market idea will get the most support and the least resistance, does anyone know who organises the market in Burgess Hill?
On 11 Jul 2007 at 10:20am Andy wrote:
Nice one webmaster. Not sure who to really contact. I suppose an initial letter to the Sussex Express wouldn't go amiss and then to David Quinn up at Barbican carpets.
Personally webmaster, an online poll or petition would be a great idea. I don't really know who you would contact to let peoples feelings known about the state of our town.
One area of the high street that really needs sorting out is the bottom end from woolies down to south street....it's like a ghost town down there.

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