I love Bury’s charmant characters. There’s cheery Vergisstan, selling the Big Issue in Abbeygate Street with his big smile, friendly “hallos”, and his pooch.
Then there’s the Rev Jonathan Alderton-Ford of Christ Church, Moreton Hall, the only vicar who can wear a donkey-jacket and look like a natural (what’s not to like about that?) Then there’s man-about-town, boss of Abbeygate Cinema, Pat Church, who recently saved Bury’s alternative to the gigantic McCinema chains of this country. I’ll come back to Pat presently.
Another thing that makes our town so special is variety. Not only do we enjoy a wide assortment of shops, pubs and restaurants, but we also host the bi-weekly market which has been going since AD 1235. That’s 781 years of friendly service, fresh produce, and value for money, especially if you shop a bit before closing time when most stuff is drastically marked down.
I’m not bashing Bury’s big high-street stores. Far from it. In fact, when I buy gifts for my wife in Palmers, for instance, I’m always knocked out by the professional service and courtesy I receive, no matter how little I spend. I also enjoy superb service in Fat Face and Sahara to name other places I shop for the women on my gift-list.
Let’s get this straight. I don’t enjoy spending more dosh than I have to. That said, when it comes to gift-giving, I like the kind of present that says more than, “Here you go, love. I just picked up this thing in town a few minutes ago.”
Recently, I needed to buy some last-minute gifts for four young women. So when I walked off the street into Ever Changing Fashion at 10 Langton Place and saw the distinctive gifts there, I nearly turned around and sprinted out. That’s until I saw the reasonable prices. They more than suited my frugal pocketbook. And better still, there seemed to be something there for each person. The shop recently celebrated its one-year anniversary, and as the name suggest, nothing remains the same from week to week – except the incredible quality and variety.
According to owner Lyn Cook, “Our name describes both our Ever-Changing inventory of the latest ladies’ fashion accessories, plus we also stock Kameleon interchangeable Jewellery and Lindsay Phillips Switchflops Sandals. Both these lines feature unique Jewelpops or Snaps allowing you to constantly change the look of your favourite accessories.”
But there’s more than value for money. “Importing several of our products ourselves means that we are the only retailers of these in the area, and, with a few products, the only retailer in the UK. You will always find something different at Ever Changing Fashion.”
Lyn has years of experience in retail. “Some of our top sellers include our amazingly versatile handbag organisers, our fabulous range of fashion scarves and unique scarf hangers. There’re also glamorous wedding or everyday-use hats, stylish handbags and jewelry, fun sandals, and trendy boot-socks.”
Bury Post Office’s proposed move to WH Smith is attracting criticism from customers, including peaceful demonstrations by fuming patrons, particularly elderly or disabled customers needing the current Post Office’s user-friendly access. Although MP Jo Churchill responded to voters’ letters regarding this David-versus-Goliath situation, with respect, I say we need help from the Master of Lost-Causes himself, Mr Pat Church. Maybe he can save our post office the way he saved the real jewel in the crown of this burg, Abbeygate Cinema. Faithful Pat proved once again, if such proof is need, whenever little Davids go up against powerful Goliaths, the battle belongs to the Lord.
-- Visit award-winning writer Michael Apichella’s website at www.michaelapichella.com or follow him on Twitter via @MApichellaPhD