October 24, 2014 by Whispering Smith
Whispering Smith Column published in the Littlehampton Gazette October 16th. 2014
WE now have so many charity shops in town, nine in total, I thought I would have a wander and see just why a seaside town offers such an attraction and what was offered for both content and customer service. Value for clothing, everything at only £1.99 has to be Barnardo’s. Most expensive seems to be St. Barnabas but they do have some quality gear and are reasonably friendly although a little rigid in their dealings with customers. I paid for and asked them to hold a walking stick for me while I did my food shopping in Waitrose but they declined as it ‘…was not policy to hold items even if they were paid for.’ It was a rather swish stick so I took it away with me and wandered around the big store inadvertently jabbing other shoppers with it. Some excellent stock but least customer friendly seemed to be Link Romania where they had a book marked at £1.50 but insisted, rather forcibly, that was not their pricing and the book was in fact £2.00 and if I did not like it, I could put it back on the shelf. The remainder although much of a muchness are decent, clean, fresh smelling stores offering a wide range of goods including some excellent furniture. Dizzy in Beach Road stands out among the newer outlets but all are worth a visit and these stores offer great value in these cash strapped times. My top of the shops has to be The Oxfam Shop in Arcade Road. Maybe because, among other items, the shop always has an excellent stock of fact and fiction books and a wide variety of records but also because it is so user friendly. Of course this is all subjective and you may have other views, I am just saying it as I see it…
WHY will Arun not get their act together and declare the town centre to be a permanent non-drinking area? It works in other towns and villages and the newly erected notice stating it to be an offence to drink alcohol there if warned not to so by a police officer, is totally meaningless. I cannot think why anyone would want to venture into a new business in the town centre with some of the shenanigans I have witnessed there.