Question 3 to 6 are all; do you know where this Margate business was? I'm not really expecting answers to these, they all date from the early 1900s and outside of the local history books we sell in the bookshop, information will be pretty thin on the ground.
I guess I'm also trying to finding ways of handling mystery photos that are difficult so bear with me here.
I guess this is really part of my thoughts about what has happened to retail in town centres and the impact on our country, socially and economically.
On the whole the issue of shops and retail decline in town centres seems to be partly related to old town centre building stock and the desire to relocate to out of town shopping centres.
The internet hasn’t helped but the value of real estate is a big issue but probably paying shop staff a living wage the biggest issue.
The days of good and varied shopping centres in towns were based on shop staff not really being paid enough to live on and shop rents being relatively low. With a shop wages are by far and away the largest expense, followed by rent and then by rates. Recently the largest non expense issue has become trading in a town centre where a lot of the other shops have closed or at least stopped being retailers selling actual goods, this means that the footfall decreases.
Medium term I think things will have to change back to goods being sold in centres of population because of the environmental issues surrounding people having to travel further to shop. Of course it may be the internet is the solution rather than the problem, but online shopping isn’t a very good experience, not good for our mental health, communities and overall quality of life.
I think part of the issue is everything being cost led and providing a good shopping experience is expensive. Whether the solutions lie with some sort of government control or whether putting tangible product in front of customers will eventually be lead by manufacturers or there will be some other solution, well I just don’t know.
Having said all of that, the other side of this is here at Michael's Bookshop where I work in Ramsgate business is still reasonably good. This seems to be mostly related to having a reasonably popular stock of books with prices that are for the most part cheaper than they are on the internet.
Obviously from a manufacturer's point of view, or in the case of physical books the publisher's, getting the item or book you want to sell physically in front of the customers close to where they live has advantages.
Something along the lines of looking at a book you want in W H Smith in Ramsgate or Margate, but because it is priced at £20, buying it on Amazon for £12 doesn't help the publisher to sell more copies.
Yesterday's mystery pub photo
The answer which only one person got after about 20 hours was The Lord Nelson, this was in Queen Street Ramsgate roughly opposite Waitrose and I think it closed at some time in the 1960s.