Asda opened last week near Keighley station. The local councillors decided that a town of barely 60,000 souls couldn't manage with just a Sainsbury, Aldi, Morrison's, Netto, Iceland and umpteen local Co-op Food Fairs. Nope, the needs of the town could best be served by allowing in the rottweiler of retail, part of the 'Wal-Mart Family'. Goodbye independent shops of Cavendish Street, farewell market. Those entrusted with your future have decreed that what Keighley needs is more boarded-up shops, fast-food outlets, tanning salons and estate agents
Despite the state of the modern British high street, butchers' shops, along with pubs, are often great survivors. Passing through Appleby-in-Westmorland the other week, It was all I could do to wait for the car to stop before rushing over to this gem, Ewbank's. It's a very simple place - plain, painted walls and a window area with the cuts plonked onto bare tiles. It looked like the shop you'd find in a model village.
"How long has this been a butcher's?" I gasped.
"Oooh - at least a hundred years" came the reply. "Not changed much".
No pies for sale, though. Maybe I'll suggest that when I send Mr Ewbank a print.