Thursday, May 29, 2008

Farmers Come to Town

There was a mini Farmers' market in Stockton High Street today, organised entirely by the town centre manager rather than by a commercial organisation. She'd only invited a small number of people who fulfilled rather tight criteria and it seemed to have worked. There was a lovely array of meats, Yorkshire cheeses, pickles, preserves and an almost empty cake stall whose occupants said they'd bring twice as much next month! Everyone seemed to have had a reasonably successful day and were looking forward to coming back next month. One more small step in the regeneration of Stockton High Street.
I concluded yesterday that something was definitely needed. I'd made a long overdue appointment to have my hair cut but the stylist was busy and running late so I sat in front of a mirror which reflected a view of Stockton High Street. Alarmingly, no-one who walked across my field of vision over a period of 10 minutes looked happy! At first I thought it was just coincidence, but after a while I started watching continuously, actively seeking the happy people. They didn't exist! I saw sad faces, weary faces and angry faces but no smiling faces. Regeneration of Stockton needs to regenerate the people, based on my very unscientific survey on one warm Wednesday afternoon. There's a challenge for the Town Centre manager.

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