The Soft Shoe Shuffle…

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November 4, 2012 by Whispering Smith

Published in the Littlehampton Gazette October 25th. 2012

The LA High Street ain’t what she used to be! Oh, sure, one can still be barracked by the daytime town centre boozer  run over by a roller skater or mown down by a marauding cyclist – whatever happened to the ‘no cycling in the shopping precinct’ rule? – but  if you are a bloke and you now try and buy a decent pair of branded jeans, a suit or  an overcoat then you had best set off for Chichester or Worthing and, from this week on, you won’t even be able to buy a sturdy pair of men’s shoes in the town. Of course it has become a fine place for hungry or thirsty folk with two pubs, Cornish pasty and noodle outlets, several coffee shops and sandwich bars to choose from and, should any of the aforementioned gourmet delights give you a belt of indigestion, then there are three very large chemists within a hundred yards of each other where you can buy the appropriate remedy. Once burped you can get your nails done, place a bet, buy a book, a greetings card, book a tip to New York or visit the thrift shops where, ironically, you may well pick up a fine overcoat, a pair of Wranglers or a sturdy duo of near new boots! Sadly, however, your male shopping choices are rather limited so the cash you draw from the four available ATM machines must dawdle in your pocket. With an estimated 32 shops closing across the UK every day, I guess we are pretty lucky in LA to have what we do have and have to accept that real variety may be a thing of the distant past when the High Street shops were really just that.

I note with considerable pleasure that the old Cairo Club, Robert Carvers and latterly the Lemon Tree has now been sold. My hope is that the ADC will encourage the new owners to quickly effect some maintenance and winter protection to this  lovely old grade two listed building at their earliest possible convenience.

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