Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Glory to God in the High Street

We're all gearing up for a meeting on Monday evening on the topic of saving Dumbarton High Street. Some big guns are being rolled in, but I fear anger and confrontation, as some present are certainly responsible for the decline, or are at least responsible for doing nothing as the decline became more and more evident! That's politicians for you!

We'll undoubtedly revisit past sins, there will be recriminations aplenty, and it will need a strong chair to guide us away from the past to look at possibilities for the future instead. Who has the vision, or indeed the money to give this town what it needs? Perhaps we need to think out of the box a little? Some "blue sky thinking" as the RW's employer would put it.

Our building is in the High Street and we need to be part of the solution. We certainly need to be involved in the discussions and in the decision making process as much as we are allowed to be, because we are not a church which opens once every week, but are busy on a daily basis with one thing or another. Our congregation needs to be "in there" and part of the movement to bring about the changes that are needed.

Yes, we want to save the High St, but maybe change it from what it was and is, into something completely different. However, in cash-strapped times, perhaps the "blue sky thinking" will need to take a back seat, and temporary solutions, again, will be preferred.


Erp said...

Well just don't do what my neighboring 'high street' did, cut down all the trees. Admittedly it did unite the community and they have replanted though it will be 20 plus years before they become full-grown.
Admittedly Dumbarton may not have trees to cut down.

Fr Kenny said...

Not many in the High Street I have to say, but some trees and would be better than empty shops!

Fr Kenny said...

PS Is this "Green Tree Thinking"?

Erp said...

Not that I know

Well they planned to replace the trees hidden on page 53 but standard local practice is to do it gradually, replace a few each year. Coming in and cutting down in one day was a shock (and apparently no administrator was willing to shoulder the responsibility/blame). The town is named after a tree (unfortunately one that is slowly dying though at over a 1000 has had a long life).

Long range plans (and we have a few empty shops) is to narrow the road (right now it is two lanes each way) and make more space (and more pleasant space) for outside sitting and eating (but we have the weather most of the year to make outside eating pleasant). It is near a county courthouse and a lot of businesses so lunchtime eating establishments are big. On Sundays part of the street is closed and they have a Farmers Market (though many of the vendors sell prepared food they make like bread, pastries, jams, ice cream as well as fresh vegetables/fruit) and people come to browse, buy, and socialize (this is fairly new though though other nearby markets have been around a while and do well). Again we have the weather for year round local fresh veggies (though one local market only runs from May to November). Unfortunately there are few attractions other than food. One used bookstore that is having financial difficulties, an art studio for local artists inside a cafe, a very good camera shop (with related items).