Recently I was talking with someone and he said that he never shops in Blyth, but travels up to Cramlington to shop.
He said that the shops there were “better”
I often visit Cramlington, as much for a change of scenery as anything else, but I never thought the shops better. Different maybe, but not better.
So, having some odds and ends to get today, I took a bus up the road to Cramlington to compare the shops. Most of Cramlington’s shops are in the Manor Walks Shopping Centre, or just outside, whereas Blyth has a traditional town centre, with a small mall, the Keel Row.
Both Blyth and Cramlington offer free parking ( as opposed to Whitley Bay or Newcastle which don't )
But, today, looking at the shops, I found that there were few shops that don’t have branches in Blyth. Or at least comparative shops (no Sainsbury’s in Blyth, no Morrisons in Cramlington centre for instance)
Boots, Wilkinsons, Superdrug, Bon Marche, Barclays Bank, O2 shop and many others in both.
Blyth has no “Pound Shops”, (Cramlington has two.) Cramlington centre has no charity shops, Blyth has a seemingly endless number.
Blyth only has the one phone shop, whereas Cramlington has at least four. But there are only so many mobile phones you can buy!
So next time anyone says “I shop at Cramlington”, I’ll simply ask “What has it got that Blyth hasn’t?”
And the next time I hear “Blyth shops are struggling”, I’ll say “Yes, because Blyth people travel to Cramlington to shop”
I’ll still visit Cramlington, but I can see no reason to change my shopping habits generally, and will continue to shop in Blyth when I can