UNIT: A key site for shop footfall

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It will be interesting to see which business moves into the Original Factory Shop’s premises in Morpeth following the existing shop closure as it’s an interesting retail space in the town’s Market Place.

Hopefully, it will be a business that encourages greater footfall down Lumsden Lane and through the Market Place.

As we are in an age of short periods of parking and then shopping in the town, parking opposite Marks and Spencer’s often means people need a specific reason to walk more than a short distance from their car to shop.

Something new to the town may encourage a change in shopping habits.

There is a good tribute to a gentleman who contributed to making The Alnwick Garden the success it is from the Duchess of Northumberland.

It’s clearly written on a block of stone in the Garden. It is one of the many parts of the Garden that make you pause and think.

In Blyth Market Place there is a simpler tribute to a local councillor on a paving slab, which is effective in its own way.

If the days of famous local people’s names being used on new streets and roads won’t return to the way they used to be, then hopefully in Morpeth more thought will be given to how the work of people who have contributed to the local community can be permanently recognised.

Roger Hawkins’ recent article on the Morpeth Dispensary gave some insight into the nature of healthcare provision locally in the 19th century (Morpeth Herald, August 30).

Nowadays our expectations are considerably higher from the NHS as, quite rightly, if you have a problem, you want it sorted out or a solution provided immediately.

But given the numbers involved who need medical support, patience and negotiating skills are needed to both get the right treatment and understand what you need to do to help the particular problem.

It’s generally wise to take responsibility for your own health, particularly with the choices you make.

The internet can even be of use to give you questions to ask the medical professionals so that your healthcare becomes a conversation, rather than queuing for a particular pill as it may have been in the past.

One of the people shown in a recent nostalgia photograph looked like the late Jim Rudd (Morpeth Herald, August 30).

Jim would have been kept busy by all of the challenges affecting the Middle Greens area if they had been happening when he was in his prime as he was from the generation of local politicians who were approachable on the street so was often having to listen to people sharing firm opinions.

I’m sure Middle Greens residents will have such firm opinions now on issues such as when will the relocation of Goosehill School actually take place? Planning for a move that has to be put back would hardly be a welcome experience for the headteacher and chairman of school governors.

Years ago, after crossing the Morpeth stepping stones and walking around to the Skinnery Bridge, all of the seats were of the same design and made of wood, by and large showing plaques giving respect to local people that had passed on.

It’s been some time since I was around that part of Morpeth so I was surprised to see that the seats weren’t of the same standard as those in, for example, the Market Place.

But I paused in front of the plaque paying tribute to one of my family, who passed away at far too young an age.

Still to lift that sombre mood, I was surprised to see all of the activity in Dogger Bank.

I’ve no idea how long the infrastructure will take, but people living near the works would prefer it to be over soon.

Robert Pollard

Northbourne Avenue

Morpeth