Today Hereford City has 51 empty shops, our county towns are feeling the strain,
and more and more shops are closing in our villages.
Following on from his campaign to stop Post Office closures, Jesse Norman this week launches a new countywide drive to Save our Small Shops.
Jesse Norman - prospective MP is asking local people to take a moment to pick their own favourite small shop, and to say what makes them so special. Nominations can be sent in by letter to Jesse at 49 Broomy Hill Hereford HR4 0LJ, or online through firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline is April 30th, 2009.
Once the nominations have been tallied, the winning shops will be celebrated at a reception to which all participants will be invited, so that they can pass on their good wishes and support to the winners in person.
Here's a few of my favourites
1 Hopes of Longtown. It is packed with local produce, it has friendly staff. It sells Earl Grey Tea and you can always find a gift that is impossible to get elsewhere - like a copy of Eskleyside Ploughing Society's History.
I even bought my chestnuts for roasting on an open fire from here at Christmas...
2: Montague's Cutting Room. I must declare an interest here as Di is my niece, but you can have a great haircut and pick up some corking jewelry too. Ryeland Street.
3: Number Two in Hay-on-Wye. The best clothes shop in the UK I reckon.
Farmer Phil says some of his favourites are Locks Garage Allensmore, Madley Shop and Kingstone Post Office and Stores. These are our three nearest in fact but I'm sure it's not that he doesn't get out much - they are great shops offering a good service.
Can we make a list of village stores who do homemade rolls and sandwiches?
What is your favourite - put it here or better still share it on your facebook page.