Darlington music shop Ron's Music to shut down after 23 years in business

The Advertiser Series: SHUTTING SHOP: Ron Howe who is closing his business Ron's Music in Darlington.Picture: Andy Lamb SHUTTING SHOP: Ron Howe who is closing his business Ron's Music in Darlington.Picture: Andy Lamb

A LONG-ESTABLISHED music shop is to become the latest independent business in Darlington to close down.

Ron’s Music has been established in the town for 23 years – first with a shop on North Road and for the last six years in Blackwellgate.

However, a lack of footfall in the town centre in recent years has forced shop owner Ron Howe to call time on the business, an emotional decision which he said “marked the end of an era”.

The shop is the latest in a string of independent Darlington shops to close down, most recently the Home and Furnishings shop on Blackwellgate, Flowers by Nattrass, which relinquished its West Row shop to focus on online sales and its Duke Street store, and several businesses that have left Post House Wynd over the last year.

Mr Howe cited issues such as parking, the increase of online shopping and a decline in town centre visitors among the reasons business was proving so hard for smaller retailers.

He said: “Sadly I think it is a theme; I don’t quite know what the council’s strategy is but they certainly don’t make it easy for you.

“I think parking is the main issue, I know they do try with certain events to get people into the town centre and people like Beryl from the Guru shop are always trying to encourage people in with markets and things.

“The Bid (Business Improvement District) people also seem fairly up for it, putting things on once a month, but other than that if you have only got estate agents, charity shops and cafes how are you going to bring people to the town to shop on a more regular basis?”

He added: “It is quite emotional, I have had a lot of people who remember us from North Road a long time ago, I’d serve them as kids and now they have kids of their own.

“It is the end of the era, I suppose I was the longest serving music shop in the town – none have lasted as long as me.”

It is not all bad news for Mr Howe, as neighbouring music shop, JG Windows, has a workshop which he will use to continue to offer instrument repair and run music lessons once his own shop closes on May 31.

Comments (26)

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6:30pm Tue 13 May 14

youngcrony says...

I think it is rather sad that Bill, Ada and their cronies are ignoring this downward spiral. Each time the same things are mentioned, but do they listen? No they spout off nonsense about how wonderful everything is in front of their rose tinted glasses.
I think it is rather sad that Bill, Ada and their cronies are ignoring this downward spiral. Each time the same things are mentioned, but do they listen? No they spout off nonsense about how wonderful everything is in front of their rose tinted glasses. youngcrony
  • Score: 56

8:05pm Tue 13 May 14

Teesflyer says...

youngcrony wrote:
I think it is rather sad that Bill, Ada and their cronies are ignoring this downward spiral. Each time the same things are mentioned, but do they listen? No they spout off nonsense about how wonderful everything is in front of their rose tinted glasses.
Agreed - just like when Blair handed over to Brown, they will drag their grasping and manipulating out to the very last breath and then "exit stage left" and leave someone else to pick up the pieces - pathetic and incompetent individuals!
[quote][p][bold]youngcrony[/bold] wrote: I think it is rather sad that Bill, Ada and their cronies are ignoring this downward spiral. Each time the same things are mentioned, but do they listen? No they spout off nonsense about how wonderful everything is in front of their rose tinted glasses.[/p][/quote]Agreed - just like when Blair handed over to Brown, they will drag their grasping and manipulating out to the very last breath and then "exit stage left" and leave someone else to pick up the pieces - pathetic and incompetent individuals! Teesflyer
  • Score: 27

8:33pm Tue 13 May 14

Border Terrier says...

Which Charity will take over the premises, surely they are all covered in the town now? Only growth industry Charity shops! Bliddy shamefull!
Which Charity will take over the premises, surely they are all covered in the town now? Only growth industry Charity shops! Bliddy shamefull! Border Terrier
  • Score: 19

8:38pm Tue 13 May 14

magicmoment says...

I'm not voting labour in this town again.
all these years and the town is getting worse. we need new blood a new council!!
I'm not voting labour in this town again. all these years and the town is getting worse. we need new blood a new council!! magicmoment
  • Score: 43

12:40am Wed 14 May 14

fratia says...

I was in Darlington visiting in September and March this year from Canada, and I was surprised to see how dead the town had become. The politicians need to take a good hard look at Darlington Town Centre, it used to be so vibrant, now it is like a ghost town.
I was in Darlington visiting in September and March this year from Canada, and I was surprised to see how dead the town had become. The politicians need to take a good hard look at Darlington Town Centre, it used to be so vibrant, now it is like a ghost town. fratia
  • Score: 30

6:23am Wed 14 May 14

Jackaranda says...

I bought a guitar from Ron 3 years ago now, and it was refreshing to go into a shop where they spent time with you, it wasn't "this is what you want now get your wallet out". Another good shop bites the dust.
I bought a guitar from Ron 3 years ago now, and it was refreshing to go into a shop where they spent time with you, it wasn't "this is what you want now get your wallet out". Another good shop bites the dust. Jackaranda
  • Score: 28

8:33am Wed 14 May 14

Copley23 says...

Got our banjo from there......such a shame, really great guys! And so helpful......well, DBC never did understand 'art'.....bunch of toadies.
Got our banjo from there......such a shame, really great guys! And so helpful......well, DBC never did understand 'art'.....bunch of toadies. Copley23
  • Score: 23

9:29am Wed 14 May 14

Spy Boy says...

magicmoment wrote:
I'm not voting labour in this town again.
all these years and the town is getting worse. we need new blood a new council!!
Ah! Now you are getting the message. I've been saying this for years. This council's record of failure would normally have had everyone voting them out years ago, but because they hide behind a red rosette everyone thinks that they are Labour. They are not. They are a bunch of greedy, self absorbed, arrogant, power hungry and inept ( Add expletive of your choice here ) Forget the colour of the rosette, just vote them out.

We need another Oliver Cromwell to dislodge them. “you have been sat to long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, i say, and let us have done with you. In the name of god, go!.” They are rather like one of those things that you just can't flush away. No matter how hard you try, they just keep bobbing back up. This is how popular they are and how unpleasant. Boot them and their unelected executives out now.
[quote][p][bold]magicmoment[/bold] wrote: I'm not voting labour in this town again. all these years and the town is getting worse. we need new blood a new council!![/p][/quote]Ah! Now you are getting the message. I've been saying this for years. This council's record of failure would normally have had everyone voting them out years ago, but because they hide behind a red rosette everyone thinks that they are Labour. They are not. They are a bunch of greedy, self absorbed, arrogant, power hungry and inept ( Add expletive of your choice here ) Forget the colour of the rosette, just vote them out. We need another Oliver Cromwell to dislodge them. “you have been sat to long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, i say, and let us have done with you. In the name of god, go!.” They are rather like one of those things that you just can't flush away. No matter how hard you try, they just keep bobbing back up. This is how popular they are and how unpleasant. Boot them and their unelected executives out now. Spy Boy
  • Score: 17

12:20pm Wed 14 May 14

cholmes005 says...

Before folk start putting the boot in Darlington Borough council is this all there fault? Small music shops like this have been falling by the wayside for a few years now. Theres more online competition as well as larger music stores offering more competitively priced goods as well as a bigger selection. This shop just seemed to sell stuff for beginners and accessories such as strings. Probs made more money on repairs and lessons which will surely continue as stated at other premises. The shop was too small to sell PA equipment and drums and there's hardly a thriving music scene in Darlington. Its not just the shops in town that's died like, whats happened to the nightlife, so dead these days
Before folk start putting the boot in Darlington Borough council is this all there fault? Small music shops like this have been falling by the wayside for a few years now. Theres more online competition as well as larger music stores offering more competitively priced goods as well as a bigger selection. This shop just seemed to sell stuff for beginners and accessories such as strings. Probs made more money on repairs and lessons which will surely continue as stated at other premises. The shop was too small to sell PA equipment and drums and there's hardly a thriving music scene in Darlington. Its not just the shops in town that's died like, whats happened to the nightlife, so dead these days cholmes005
  • Score: -15

12:39pm Wed 14 May 14

D. Hop says...

No, its not all the Councils fault, but they definitely haven't help the situation.
Some people still want to physically see what they are buying before they commit.
No, its not all the Councils fault, but they definitely haven't help the situation. Some people still want to physically see what they are buying before they commit. D. Hop
  • Score: 23

1:05pm Wed 14 May 14

JJ2000 says...

I remember buying my first guitar from Rons at North Road many moons ago in my early teens (not that I'm old!) and bought a couple more over the past few years.
It's a shame that he's got to close his doors, but as another post mentioned, there just isn't the business in Darlington. As well as myself there were many other people of all ages buying gear and would find themselves performing in local pubs and clubs, but even that scene has now all but faded, causing a knock on effect for all.
Music gear is one of those things that you should physically hold and noodle around with before you buy as each piece is fairly unique, even the low-range stuff. Tis a shame.

Best of luck Ron
I remember buying my first guitar from Rons at North Road many moons ago in my early teens (not that I'm old!) and bought a couple more over the past few years. It's a shame that he's got to close his doors, but as another post mentioned, there just isn't the business in Darlington. As well as myself there were many other people of all ages buying gear and would find themselves performing in local pubs and clubs, but even that scene has now all but faded, causing a knock on effect for all. Music gear is one of those things that you should physically hold and noodle around with before you buy as each piece is fairly unique, even the low-range stuff. Tis a shame. Best of luck Ron JJ2000
  • Score: 10

1:13pm Wed 14 May 14

cholmes005 says...

JJ2000 wrote:
I remember buying my first guitar from Rons at North Road many moons ago in my early teens (not that I'm old!) and bought a couple more over the past few years.
It's a shame that he's got to close his doors, but as another post mentioned, there just isn't the business in Darlington. As well as myself there were many other people of all ages buying gear and would find themselves performing in local pubs and clubs, but even that scene has now all but faded, causing a knock on effect for all.
Music gear is one of those things that you should physically hold and noodle around with before you buy as each piece is fairly unique, even the low-range stuff. Tis a shame.

Best of luck Ron
When I was at 6th form in Darlington 12-13 year ago there seemed to be a few bands forming mostly originals but now there seems to be practically nowt. For a town of its size the music scene is poor. Pubs don't seem to bother with bands and not so long ago half a dozen clubs put bands on, now there only one left. The forum is good but is mainly for touring original tributes and originals and its the only proper music place in town. if theres little music scene in area how can a shop like this survive? Folk from out of town will go to Newcastle and that for better quality gear. Folk travel these days to state of the art music shops, which ron's certainly wasn't
[quote][p][bold]JJ2000[/bold] wrote: I remember buying my first guitar from Rons at North Road many moons ago in my early teens (not that I'm old!) and bought a couple more over the past few years. It's a shame that he's got to close his doors, but as another post mentioned, there just isn't the business in Darlington. As well as myself there were many other people of all ages buying gear and would find themselves performing in local pubs and clubs, but even that scene has now all but faded, causing a knock on effect for all. Music gear is one of those things that you should physically hold and noodle around with before you buy as each piece is fairly unique, even the low-range stuff. Tis a shame. Best of luck Ron[/p][/quote]When I was at 6th form in Darlington 12-13 year ago there seemed to be a few bands forming mostly originals but now there seems to be practically nowt. For a town of its size the music scene is poor. Pubs don't seem to bother with bands and not so long ago half a dozen clubs put bands on, now there only one left. The forum is good but is mainly for touring original tributes and originals and its the only proper music place in town. if theres little music scene in area how can a shop like this survive? Folk from out of town will go to Newcastle and that for better quality gear. Folk travel these days to state of the art music shops, which ron's certainly wasn't cholmes005
  • Score: 9

1:13pm Wed 14 May 14

cholmes005 says...

JJ2000 wrote:
I remember buying my first guitar from Rons at North Road many moons ago in my early teens (not that I'm old!) and bought a couple more over the past few years.
It's a shame that he's got to close his doors, but as another post mentioned, there just isn't the business in Darlington. As well as myself there were many other people of all ages buying gear and would find themselves performing in local pubs and clubs, but even that scene has now all but faded, causing a knock on effect for all.
Music gear is one of those things that you should physically hold and noodle around with before you buy as each piece is fairly unique, even the low-range stuff. Tis a shame.

Best of luck Ron
When I was at 6th form in Darlington 12-13 year ago there seemed to be a few bands forming mostly originals but now there seems to be practically nowt. For a town of its size the music scene is poor. Pubs don't seem to bother with bands and not so long ago half a dozen clubs put bands on, now there only one left. The forum is good but is mainly for touring original tributes and originals and its the only proper music place in town. if theres little music scene in area how can a shop like this survive? Folk from out of town will go to Newcastle and that for better quality gear. Folk travel these days to state of the art music shops, which ron's certainly wasn't
[quote][p][bold]JJ2000[/bold] wrote: I remember buying my first guitar from Rons at North Road many moons ago in my early teens (not that I'm old!) and bought a couple more over the past few years. It's a shame that he's got to close his doors, but as another post mentioned, there just isn't the business in Darlington. As well as myself there were many other people of all ages buying gear and would find themselves performing in local pubs and clubs, but even that scene has now all but faded, causing a knock on effect for all. Music gear is one of those things that you should physically hold and noodle around with before you buy as each piece is fairly unique, even the low-range stuff. Tis a shame. Best of luck Ron[/p][/quote]When I was at 6th form in Darlington 12-13 year ago there seemed to be a few bands forming mostly originals but now there seems to be practically nowt. For a town of its size the music scene is poor. Pubs don't seem to bother with bands and not so long ago half a dozen clubs put bands on, now there only one left. The forum is good but is mainly for touring original tributes and originals and its the only proper music place in town. if theres little music scene in area how can a shop like this survive? Folk from out of town will go to Newcastle and that for better quality gear. Folk travel these days to state of the art music shops, which ron's certainly wasn't cholmes005
  • Score: 3

2:31pm Wed 14 May 14

JJ2000 says...

cholmes005 wrote:
JJ2000 wrote:
I remember buying my first guitar from Rons at North Road many moons ago in my early teens (not that I'm old!) and bought a couple more over the past few years.
It's a shame that he's got to close his doors, but as another post mentioned, there just isn't the business in Darlington. As well as myself there were many other people of all ages buying gear and would find themselves performing in local pubs and clubs, but even that scene has now all but faded, causing a knock on effect for all.
Music gear is one of those things that you should physically hold and noodle around with before you buy as each piece is fairly unique, even the low-range stuff. Tis a shame.

Best of luck Ron
When I was at 6th form in Darlington 12-13 year ago there seemed to be a few bands forming mostly originals but now there seems to be practically nowt. For a town of its size the music scene is poor. Pubs don't seem to bother with bands and not so long ago half a dozen clubs put bands on, now there only one left. The forum is good but is mainly for touring original tributes and originals and its the only proper music place in town. if theres little music scene in area how can a shop like this survive? Folk from out of town will go to Newcastle and that for better quality gear. Folk travel these days to state of the art music shops, which ron's certainly wasn't
'For a town of its size the music scene is poor. Pubs don't seem to bother with bands and not so long ago half a dozen clubs put bands on, now there only one left.'

Totally agree. Those evenings of sunshine, beer and live music (of varying degrees of quality) have all but gone.

'Folk travel these days to state of the art music shops, which ron's certainly wasn't.'

Again, I agree, and it's a shame, because in my experience it was always the small places that offered a more personal service. Rons in Darlington, Brothertons in Bishop, even Sounds Live in Newcastle used to be fairly small and friendly places (and still are friendly). Whereas the bigger (retail) stores (i.e. Williams) were often staffed by dispassionate elitists who apparently forgot that all musicians need to start somewhere, could not understand that few people are able or would want to spend £1000+ on a first guitar, and failed to grasp that learning by ear is a valid method of self development.

Anyway, here's to you Ron, and best of luck for the future.
[quote][p][bold]cholmes005[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]JJ2000[/bold] wrote: I remember buying my first guitar from Rons at North Road many moons ago in my early teens (not that I'm old!) and bought a couple more over the past few years. It's a shame that he's got to close his doors, but as another post mentioned, there just isn't the business in Darlington. As well as myself there were many other people of all ages buying gear and would find themselves performing in local pubs and clubs, but even that scene has now all but faded, causing a knock on effect for all. Music gear is one of those things that you should physically hold and noodle around with before you buy as each piece is fairly unique, even the low-range stuff. Tis a shame. Best of luck Ron[/p][/quote]When I was at 6th form in Darlington 12-13 year ago there seemed to be a few bands forming mostly originals but now there seems to be practically nowt. For a town of its size the music scene is poor. Pubs don't seem to bother with bands and not so long ago half a dozen clubs put bands on, now there only one left. The forum is good but is mainly for touring original tributes and originals and its the only proper music place in town. if theres little music scene in area how can a shop like this survive? Folk from out of town will go to Newcastle and that for better quality gear. Folk travel these days to state of the art music shops, which ron's certainly wasn't[/p][/quote]'For a town of its size the music scene is poor. Pubs don't seem to bother with bands and not so long ago half a dozen clubs put bands on, now there only one left.' Totally agree. Those evenings of sunshine, beer and live music (of varying degrees of quality) have all but gone. 'Folk travel these days to state of the art music shops, which ron's certainly wasn't.' Again, I agree, and it's a shame, because in my experience it was always the small places that offered a more personal service. Rons in Darlington, Brothertons in Bishop, even Sounds Live in Newcastle used to be fairly small and friendly places (and still are friendly). Whereas the bigger (retail) stores (i.e. Williams) were often staffed by dispassionate elitists who apparently forgot that all musicians need to start somewhere, could not understand that few people are able or would want to spend £1000+ on a first guitar, and failed to grasp that learning by ear is a valid method of self development. Anyway, here's to you Ron, and best of luck for the future. JJ2000
  • Score: 6

2:40pm Wed 14 May 14

Rosvanian says...

Ron's stocked a guitar I was considering buying. I saw it at Ron's then looked on line where it was considerably cheaper. In the end I bought a different, more expensive model - something that Ron's doesn't cater for - but still looked o line and got it from the most competitive place. What this has got to do with the Council is beyond me.

Still, the Echo's usual business/town planning/social policy/crime/traffic planning/governance/
retail/environmental
/waste collection/law enforcement experts (that's expert in all of these things simultaneously) who love nothing better than to hurl a few personal insults, never miss an opportunity to demonstrate their superior understanding of any given issue and ALWAYS come to same conclusion. Why, it's Bill and Ada and those darned councillors' fault, of course!
It's all so tedious and predicatable. Ever wondered why no one takes a blind bit of notice of you?

Commiserations to Ron, of course. The shop will be a miss but in this day an age, a town of the size of Darlington simply cannot sustain may musical instrument shops.
Ron's stocked a guitar I was considering buying. I saw it at Ron's then looked on line where it was considerably cheaper. In the end I bought a different, more expensive model - something that Ron's doesn't cater for - but still looked o line and got it from the most competitive place. What this has got to do with the Council is beyond me. Still, the Echo's usual business/town planning/social policy/crime/traffic planning/governance/ retail/environmental /waste collection/law enforcement experts (that's expert in all of these things simultaneously) who love nothing better than to hurl a few personal insults, never miss an opportunity to demonstrate their superior understanding of any given issue and ALWAYS come to same conclusion. Why, it's Bill and Ada and those darned councillors' fault, of course! It's all so tedious and predicatable. Ever wondered why no one takes a blind bit of notice of you? Commiserations to Ron, of course. The shop will be a miss but in this day an age, a town of the size of Darlington simply cannot sustain may musical instrument shops. Rosvanian
  • Score: -5

5:25pm Wed 14 May 14

Jonn says...

Musical equipment is cheaper on line, end of!
Musical equipment is cheaper on line, end of! Jonn
  • Score: 10

10:12pm Wed 14 May 14

Trevor Agnew. says...

Expect more and more of this!
I noticed yet another fashion shop on Skinnergate with a closing down sale sign in its window today. The town is **** these days and that is because of the bizarre town "planning" not just the internet. New cinemas, TK Maxx and others shouldn't be on the outskirts of town, they should be right in the heart of it. Increased footfall will see an increase in "whimsical" purchases and also bring people into contact with traders.
The outskirts near the ringroad should be for parking space not new cinemas and shops like TK Maxx. As it is the town is too spread out and not a good shopping experience. It is possible that our town centre is now too big and a strategy needed to turn parts on the outer margins to other purposes - maybe offices which will bring in people who will spend money on their dinner hours in shops and cafés.
The removal of busses from the heart of the town was also a huge mistake. They once gave the town centre a bustling feel with people getting on and off and chatting in queues. Now it feels ghostly and silent - not exactly an alive atmosphere!
If something sensible isn't put in place soon I can see several other well known names dropping like dominos and the derelict decay of the eyesore which is Northgate will spread into our much loved town centre, making it eventually fit for the demolition mans wrecking ball!
Expect more and more of this! I noticed yet another fashion shop on Skinnergate with a closing down sale sign in its window today. The town is **** these days and that is because of the bizarre town "planning" not just the internet. New cinemas, TK Maxx and others shouldn't be on the outskirts of town, they should be right in the heart of it. Increased footfall will see an increase in "whimsical" purchases and also bring people into contact with traders. The outskirts near the ringroad should be for parking space not new cinemas and shops like TK Maxx. As it is the town is too spread out and not a good shopping experience. It is possible that our town centre is now too big and a strategy needed to turn parts on the outer margins to other purposes - maybe offices which will bring in people who will spend money on their dinner hours in shops and cafés. The removal of busses from the heart of the town was also a huge mistake. They once gave the town centre a bustling feel with people getting on and off and chatting in queues. Now it feels ghostly and silent - not exactly an alive atmosphere! If something sensible isn't put in place soon I can see several other well known names dropping like dominos and the derelict decay of the eyesore which is Northgate will spread into our much loved town centre, making it eventually fit for the demolition mans wrecking ball! Trevor Agnew.
  • Score: 2

10:30pm Wed 14 May 14

Trevor Agnew. says...

Following on from a previous comment about the towns music scene. Yes it's a joke and it will remain so whilst the showpiece for it is a grim former school well out of the way of things in a dark, down at heels part of town which is approached from along a lonely deserted route. I wouldn't like to think that I was a woman on her own having to find my way to and fro that venue.
The fact it shuts so early doesn't help either. A lot of people put a lot of energy into the Forum, but it is in completely the wrong area.
It's not exactly bright lights is it! Come on lets see a venue along the lines of an old cinema that will proudly announce in big letters which local bands will be playing soon. AND FFS LETS HAVE THIS VENUE SOMEWHERE IN THE HEART OF THE TOWN IN ONE OF THE MANY DERELICT BUILDINGS! Something needs to breathe life back into our increasingly morbid town centre!
Following on from a previous comment about the towns music scene. Yes it's a joke and it will remain so whilst the showpiece for it is a grim former school well out of the way of things in a dark, down at heels part of town which is approached from along a lonely deserted route. I wouldn't like to think that I was a woman on her own having to find my way to and fro that venue. The fact it shuts so early doesn't help either. A lot of people put a lot of energy into the Forum, but it is in completely the wrong area. It's not exactly bright lights is it! Come on lets see a venue along the lines of an old cinema that will proudly announce in big letters which local bands will be playing soon. AND FFS LETS HAVE THIS VENUE SOMEWHERE IN THE HEART OF THE TOWN IN ONE OF THE MANY DERELICT BUILDINGS! Something needs to breathe life back into our increasingly morbid town centre! Trevor Agnew.
  • Score: 9

12:28am Thu 15 May 14

Sanddancer60 says...

Trevor Agnew. wrote:
Expect more and more of this!
I noticed yet another fashion shop on Skinnergate with a closing down sale sign in its window today. The town is **** these days and that is because of the bizarre town "planning" not just the internet. New cinemas, TK Maxx and others shouldn't be on the outskirts of town, they should be right in the heart of it. Increased footfall will see an increase in "whimsical" purchases and also bring people into contact with traders.
The outskirts near the ringroad should be for parking space not new cinemas and shops like TK Maxx. As it is the town is too spread out and not a good shopping experience. It is possible that our town centre is now too big and a strategy needed to turn parts on the outer margins to other purposes - maybe offices which will bring in people who will spend money on their dinner hours in shops and cafés.
The removal of busses from the heart of the town was also a huge mistake. They once gave the town centre a bustling feel with people getting on and off and chatting in queues. Now it feels ghostly and silent - not exactly an alive atmosphere!
If something sensible isn't put in place soon I can see several other well known names dropping like dominos and the derelict decay of the eyesore which is Northgate will spread into our much loved town centre, making it eventually fit for the demolition mans wrecking ball!
The new cinema and TK Maxx are on the outskirts? And buses have been removed from the heart of the town? Really?
TK Maxx is 100m from High Row. The buses and their queues are on Northgate, Prebend Row and Tubwell Row. How much closer do you want them?
The new DfE offices behind the Town Hall will do exactly as you ask.
And I agree that the town centre is possibly too big, or more likely has too many shops for these changed times. The key is finding other uses, and persuading commercial landlords waiting for the good times to return that they need to play a part by being realistic about rents.
And has anyone noticed that Peacocks returned to Darlington recently?
[quote][p][bold]Trevor Agnew.[/bold] wrote: Expect more and more of this! I noticed yet another fashion shop on Skinnergate with a closing down sale sign in its window today. The town is **** these days and that is because of the bizarre town "planning" not just the internet. New cinemas, TK Maxx and others shouldn't be on the outskirts of town, they should be right in the heart of it. Increased footfall will see an increase in "whimsical" purchases and also bring people into contact with traders. The outskirts near the ringroad should be for parking space not new cinemas and shops like TK Maxx. As it is the town is too spread out and not a good shopping experience. It is possible that our town centre is now too big and a strategy needed to turn parts on the outer margins to other purposes - maybe offices which will bring in people who will spend money on their dinner hours in shops and cafés. The removal of busses from the heart of the town was also a huge mistake. They once gave the town centre a bustling feel with people getting on and off and chatting in queues. Now it feels ghostly and silent - not exactly an alive atmosphere! If something sensible isn't put in place soon I can see several other well known names dropping like dominos and the derelict decay of the eyesore which is Northgate will spread into our much loved town centre, making it eventually fit for the demolition mans wrecking ball![/p][/quote]The new cinema and TK Maxx are on the outskirts? And buses have been removed from the heart of the town? Really? TK Maxx is 100m from High Row. The buses and their queues are on Northgate, Prebend Row and Tubwell Row. How much closer do you want them? The new DfE offices behind the Town Hall will do exactly as you ask. And I agree that the town centre is possibly too big, or more likely has too many shops for these changed times. The key is finding other uses, and persuading commercial landlords waiting for the good times to return that they need to play a part by being realistic about rents. And has anyone noticed that Peacocks returned to Darlington recently? Sanddancer60
  • Score: 4

7:58am Thu 15 May 14

Jonn says...

Trevor Agnew. wrote:
Expect more and more of this!
I noticed yet another fashion shop on Skinnergate with a closing down sale sign in its window today. The town is **** these days and that is because of the bizarre town "planning" not just the internet. New cinemas, TK Maxx and others shouldn't be on the outskirts of town, they should be right in the heart of it. Increased footfall will see an increase in "whimsical" purchases and also bring people into contact with traders.
The outskirts near the ringroad should be for parking space not new cinemas and shops like TK Maxx. As it is the town is too spread out and not a good shopping experience. It is possible that our town centre is now too big and a strategy needed to turn parts on the outer margins to other purposes - maybe offices which will bring in people who will spend money on their dinner hours in shops and cafés.
The removal of busses from the heart of the town was also a huge mistake. They once gave the town centre a bustling feel with people getting on and off and chatting in queues. Now it feels ghostly and silent - not exactly an alive atmosphere!
If something sensible isn't put in place soon I can see several other well known names dropping like dominos and the derelict decay of the eyesore which is Northgate will spread into our much loved town centre, making it eventually fit for the demolition mans wrecking ball!
You are talking about Darlington, right?
The buses go right through the town centre, they couldn't be any closer to it's centre!
TK Maxx is about 2 minutes walk from High Row, the town centre!
The town centre is hardly spread out, you can walk from one end to the other in 10 minutes!
[quote][p][bold]Trevor Agnew.[/bold] wrote: Expect more and more of this! I noticed yet another fashion shop on Skinnergate with a closing down sale sign in its window today. The town is **** these days and that is because of the bizarre town "planning" not just the internet. New cinemas, TK Maxx and others shouldn't be on the outskirts of town, they should be right in the heart of it. Increased footfall will see an increase in "whimsical" purchases and also bring people into contact with traders. The outskirts near the ringroad should be for parking space not new cinemas and shops like TK Maxx. As it is the town is too spread out and not a good shopping experience. It is possible that our town centre is now too big and a strategy needed to turn parts on the outer margins to other purposes - maybe offices which will bring in people who will spend money on their dinner hours in shops and cafés. The removal of busses from the heart of the town was also a huge mistake. They once gave the town centre a bustling feel with people getting on and off and chatting in queues. Now it feels ghostly and silent - not exactly an alive atmosphere! If something sensible isn't put in place soon I can see several other well known names dropping like dominos and the derelict decay of the eyesore which is Northgate will spread into our much loved town centre, making it eventually fit for the demolition mans wrecking ball![/p][/quote]You are talking about Darlington, right? The buses go right through the town centre, they couldn't be any closer to it's centre! TK Maxx is about 2 minutes walk from High Row, the town centre! The town centre is hardly spread out, you can walk from one end to the other in 10 minutes! Jonn
  • Score: 5

8:48am Thu 15 May 14

marilyn49 says...

magicmoment wrote:
I'm not voting labour in this town again.
all these years and the town is getting worse. we need new blood a new council!!
Have you seen the opposition?
[quote][p][bold]magicmoment[/bold] wrote: I'm not voting labour in this town again. all these years and the town is getting worse. we need new blood a new council!![/p][/quote]Have you seen the opposition? marilyn49
  • Score: 5

1:08pm Thu 15 May 14

Stewed says...

Really sad to hear about rons shop but it has nothing to do with the council. Everything single item he sells is available cheaper online as is the case for most independent shops these days.
The town centres future lies in entertainment, food and drink. Shopping has changed, get with the times, the internet is here to stay.

Good luck to Ron, taught me to play guitar and I thank him for that.
Really sad to hear about rons shop but it has nothing to do with the council. Everything single item he sells is available cheaper online as is the case for most independent shops these days. The town centres future lies in entertainment, food and drink. Shopping has changed, get with the times, the internet is here to stay. Good luck to Ron, taught me to play guitar and I thank him for that. Stewed
  • Score: 3

2:45pm Thu 15 May 14

RealLivin says...

Sad to see you go Ron, Have always used your shop, bought my sons first guitar you and he would not be any where near as good as he is if you hadnt be around, your service was great and free advice was always forth coming. DBC may not be to blame but they sure dont help, hows about Ada donating some of those over valued wages to help small business stay in the town.
Sad to see you go Ron, Have always used your shop, bought my sons first guitar you and he would not be any where near as good as he is if you hadnt be around, your service was great and free advice was always forth coming. DBC may not be to blame but they sure dont help, hows about Ada donating some of those over valued wages to help small business stay in the town. RealLivin
  • Score: 2

4:21pm Thu 15 May 14

danlea2012 says...

I don't think a shop closing down is really down to the council and car parking charges. Its a specialist shop and obviously not enough interest in the town for this type of store. There are many shops in the town that I don't go into as they are not of interest to me. I get sick of reading people on here blaming the council for everything that goes wrong. If you don't like the town find somewhere else to live!!!
I don't think a shop closing down is really down to the council and car parking charges. Its a specialist shop and obviously not enough interest in the town for this type of store. There are many shops in the town that I don't go into as they are not of interest to me. I get sick of reading people on here blaming the council for everything that goes wrong. If you don't like the town find somewhere else to live!!! danlea2012
  • Score: 0

7:09pm Thu 15 May 14

OwnersRentals says...

It really is a shame that it has come to this. I’ve been in Darlington for just over a year and this seems to be the trend. You can walk around Darlington centre and there are an abundance of shops closing down on a daily basis. Why does the local council not support local business?? If this trend continues I think the Darlington people will vote this council OUT !! (SOON) Before it’s too late!
It really is a shame that it has come to this. I’ve been in Darlington for just over a year and this seems to be the trend. You can walk around Darlington centre and there are an abundance of shops closing down on a daily basis. Why does the local council not support local business?? If this trend continues I think the Darlington people will vote this council OUT !! (SOON) Before it’s too late! OwnersRentals
  • Score: 5

5:37pm Sun 18 May 14

bambara says...

Darlington council can not be blamed for the move to online shopping.
Nor can they be blamed for the fact that the Tory government has diverted funds from disadvantaged areas to fund the affluent Tory shires.

The Tory government has taken funding from Darlington Council, as a result of that they no longer have the money to spend, and the town is suffering the consequences of that.

Today when we see the UK rich list telling us that the 1000 richest people in the UK have seen their wealth rise by 15% in the last year alone we can see the incontravertable evidence that whatever Cameron says, we are not "all in it together"
Darlington council can not be blamed for the move to online shopping. Nor can they be blamed for the fact that the Tory government has diverted funds from disadvantaged areas to fund the affluent Tory shires. The Tory government has taken funding from Darlington Council, as a result of that they no longer have the money to spend, and the town is suffering the consequences of that. Today when we see the UK rich list telling us that the 1000 richest people in the UK have seen their wealth rise by 15% in the last year alone we can see the incontravertable evidence that whatever Cameron says, we are not "all in it together" bambara
  • Score: 0

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