Barry Peters: Bury St Edmunds is rallying to beat the gloom of recession

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Double dip recession, green shoots, bankers’ bonuses, pension riots.

There have been an awful lot of column inches taken up in the past few months with reports of doom and gloom tinged with a soupçon of positivity.

Well let’s forget talk of money worries and negativity – here in Bury St Edmunds, the picture is of a town rallying to emphasise all the good things.

Today’s Bury Free Press carries an offer from Patisserie Valerie in Abbeygate Street. The chain tries to bring a bit of the continent to the UK – and you’ll judge for yourself what you think to some of their cakes and whether or not your arteries will withstand the onslaught. But the confidence of Patisserie Valerie, coupled with the likes of the large Dunelm investment up on Moreton Hall, are proof positive that Bury is seen as a good investment.

And as we look forward to another great summer of events, there’s further evidence that Bury is doing its bit more than most to secure an early departure from any lingering shadows of recession.

Okay, the Tour of Britain may not be coming to our streets in 2012, but the Rwandan Olympic team will bring a real dose of sporting fun to the town in the lead-up to the July Olympics. The appearance of the torch in town will also focus our attention on what will be a great summer of sport.

April will see the Cycle to Rwanda team set off from the town with the aim of banking cash for the Sport For Rwanda appeal, which hopes to raise £80,000 by 2012 to provide 140 schools with sports equipment and training materials to introduce sport to the Rwandan educational curriculum.

Anyone prepared to cycle 6,000 miles through 12 countries in just 70 days to make a difference to youngsters in a country most of us would struggle to point to on a map deserves our full support – and what another great advert for our town.

I couldn’t sign off my column this week without saying a fond farewell to a dear friend and colleague.

I’ve worked with scores of people since entering journalism in the mid-80s. Some have been interesting, some challenging, others defy belief.

Right up until her final day on the Bury Free Press, Cath Le Maire was a delight to work with and a treasured friend and colleague. May you rest in peace.