Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Shops: Aren't we in Ulverston lucky

Ulverston is noted to be a 'quirky' place which in my book means we having something people who live some distance away are willing to come and visit because they have nothing like it in their area.

Having been in the tourist business here from 1970 onwards providing holiday accommodation ( at The Falls, Mansriggs which continues to thrive - under new management), I am aware of the places that visitors loved to revisit. These places were totally different to what they had at home and it was the combination of this and the surrounding impressive scenery that kept them returning year by year. Back then it ( and even now) was Smith and Harrison where you could find fascinating things to buy like Dolly Pegs, animal traps, sheep shears, nails by the pound and amusing banter from Graham and the men before him, Smith and Harrison. They had the added benefit back then, of a quirky building in Theatre Street with stairs with many of the floor boards missing yet customers were still allowed to go venture upstairs, behind the counter and view the goods.

More recently we had Rhubarb and Custard selling miniature Dolls Houses, churches, cottages fully furnished in style. This shop packed up a year ago because it was doing well. However this was well on the Internet so that a substantial part of this shops sales where over the Internet to people even as far as Italy.

Other shops who do well in town also have substantial sales over the Internet. Photo Express for binoculars and telescopes. The people buying Cameras are full of praise for Dave and his team being super and unusually helpful:  a reoccurring theme in almost every review.

I was contacted from Italy by email by a bird taking enthusiast who was on the point of spending £1,500 on a special  telescopic attachment for a camera and had spotted me here. At the time - five years ago - I didn't know the shop well so I went down and talked to them and was able to report back favourably through the experiences of my friends here in Ulverston.

Someone else (and there are many) who uses the Internet a lot is the family of David Gardner and family with a web site here at Jane Lane. He runs our ever reliable Thursday and Saturday plant stall here twice a week on the Market. He's done some great interviews that are now on Youtube

There is another relatively new quirky shop here on our main street and this is  Loopy - you know immediately from the name that you're in for a treat!

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