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Personal view: Goodbye to HMV in Bury St Edmunds

For all the front page headlines, I can’t say I’ve ever had a problem parking in Bury St Edmunds town centre.

It’s true that I do not use the facilities very often. But I don’t think taking away the ‘free from three’ scheme is going to make cycling into town any more tempting in January, and it does take away part one of the double whammy of free parking before the Tuesday foreign film at Abbeygate Cinema.

It is good then, that there are plenty of bike racks in Bury St Edmunds. And while they all come with the with heart sinking sight of damaged bike locks, bike frames without wheels and bike wheels without frames, I had never experienced any problems (although, I have a personal hatred for any poster that makes out bike theft is somehow both inevitable and the fault of the bike owner for not having an expensive enough lock).

But my luck ran out last week when I left my bike (yes, before any annoying poster writer pipes up, it was locked) and came back to find the bike light had been taken. Yes, bike light theft is a thing - I was told the next day as I went to buy a replacement. It’s so petty it would be slightly funny if it wasn’t so annoying. You almost wish the thief had gone the whole way - although, any bike thieves reading this, please don’t because it is a very long way to walk back to my house.

But the thief really excelled in not stealing the old rear light which was attached by a string and a piece of Blu Tack, but the newer front one - which both worked and took me a stupidly long time to attach.

Why couldn’t the thief have taken the rear one instead? Well, this was a case of ‘be careful what to wish for’ because the next day the rear light was also gone. How, I’m not exactly sure, but it disappeared before the end of a ride through the winds of Storm Brendan when a tree branch fell on me (it was actually the first time my bike helmet has been called into action). I went to a different bike shop for a replacement out of embarrassment. I’m not sure my pride or bank balance can cope with another bike light theft. Can we call for a truce?

HMV in the Arc, Bury St Edmunds.. (26959029)
HMV in the Arc, Bury St Edmunds.. (26959029)

It brought me no pleasure to write that HMV will be closing this week in Bury.

As a former employee of another branch and rare example of a 26-year-old who buys CDs, it feels a great shame and it will be missed.

I have always found the staff to be friendly and knowledgeable, and I’ve never left feeling disappointed. I’ve done a few features on the friendliness of independent retailers, but in Bury HMV I have found that to be true of a chain store.

So it’s farewell to the arc shopping centre branch. I’ll next be found taking my chances on the station bike rack and going over to Cambridge, where there is still an HMV, and from next week my university course is resuming. But first one last raid of some new releases.

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