What is this latest fashion craze that is sweeping the country (well.. Hartlepool anyway)! Young and middle aged women have decided that the ?in thingis to go out wearing an item of pregnancy clothing? the Pinafore dress!
Is this really the latest fashion or are a large proportion of the young women in Hartlepool actually pregnant it sure looks like it! These shapeless pieces of clothing look bloody awful in my opinion not, as I have heard them described, “summery” or “comfortable” (use comfortableas a term for a pinafore if you ARE pregnant then you are of course allowed to wear one) but just awful. Stop it ladies! If you want to look “summery” then wear a bikini… If you want to be “comfortable” then wear dungarees.
Both have their connotations but please can you all stop trying to look pregnantCall the fashion police someone PLEASE! I know that the next subject on my list has been discussed in the forum ad nauseum but I thought I’d have my pennyworth as wellIsn’t the Middleton Grange shopping centre getting really run down. For a shopping centre that bills itself as the “Third largest in the North East” it has far too many vacant shops.
Just of late Music Zone closed – I know that the whole chain went into liquidation but a new company (Fopp) bought them up and this is the company which felt that the Music Zone in the Bridges shopping centre in Sunderland was worth keeping open but for some reason not the one in the Middleton Grange. Now we hear that the Ann Summers shop is closing they say due to lack of sales. The indoor market is frankly hardly worth visiting anymore, there are a few good stalls in there but most of them are empty. Lack of sales ehI’m sure that this isn’t the fault of the hard working folks in the shops and stalls but the cause of this malaise needs to be rooted out and here?s a quick examination of the issue: Hartlepool?s population is risinglook at the new developments springing up around the town, so the potential shoppers are here in increasing numbersbut they just aren?t coming to Middleton Grange. Why- Well here’s a question… you live in the greater Hartlepool area, you have a car and you want to go out shopping for the day… where do you goSunderland, Newcastle , Middlesbrough, Durham, Stockton, Hartlepool? See what I mean – Which would you choose?
If you own a car and you live outside Hartlepool then the choice is even clearer. Why come to Hartlepool when the aforementioned destinations make for better shopping? As more people go to shop in brighter environments with more choice then a larger proportion of the shoppers in the Middleton Grange become those without much cash and so the demographic of the shops changes to cheap shops and pound shops with sales falling in some other outlets. This is happening as we speak. The management company who looks after the Middleton Grange needs to have a chat with their peers who run more successful malls in other towns and find out how they do things. For instance in the Castlegate centre in Stockton, empty shop units are covered with bright hoardings full of information about the centre and what’s opening soon they aren?t just left as empty shells that remind townsfolk of the slow demise of their main (indeed their only) shopping mall. Even hoardings telling budding entrepreneurs how to rent me would be preferable to what we have now in the Middleton Grange. Hartlepool is desperately trying to market itself as a buzzing little ex-industrial town that has dragged itself up by the bootstraps and is re-inventing itself but what I see happening to the Middleton Grange is directly at odds with this vision.
MR MAYOR LISTEN UP! Can you hear the sound of an undertaker banging nails into Hartlepool?s coffinWellto be honest probably not just yet but you should be able to hear his footsteps getting nearerand they will keep on getting louder the more the Middleton Grange deteriorates as this reflects the financial state of the local economy. How do we make Hartlepool a destination of choice for shoppersWell fix the perennial parking issue would be niceget rid of the parking behind the Middleton Grange and build a bloody great multi-storey would be a start. We could then turn our attention to the stores in the centre itselfhow about some lower rentsor maybe we could encourage the opening of a range of stores just stocking the latest fashion items bikinis, dungarees and of course pinafore dresses.
Ps. – By the way – Has anyone else noticed the parrot that looks over you after you have come in the doors from the ramp?