You like living in Twickenham but there’s always something missing, isn’t there? You have that nagging doubt, a doubt that never truly leaves you. Richmond Road, King Street, London Road, Church Street; wherever you walk you’ve always got that sense of something not being quite right, of something lacking. You can’t quite place it. Is it a some kind of repressed memory from your seemingly happy childhood fighting to get out, or does it stem from the fleeting glimpses into a dark corner of your mind where missed opportunities are piled high in dusty crates stamped “unfulfilled potential”. Chillax dudes! It’s much more straightforward than that. What’s troubling you is your subconscious concern about the lack of cafes, the dearth of charity shops and absence of estate agents in town. Breathe out. Here’s the latest high street update to fill you in and, we hope, bring peace to your troubled mind…
T-Break cafe on York Street? Ever go in there? Well you’re too late now anyway, it’s closed. The facade has been freshly painted in a kind of dark pink colour and we await the opening of the York Street Cafe in its place. If you’re looking for it, it’s just opposite Cafe Coffee Day and round the corner from Starbucks, Caffe Nero, Lulu’z and Cafe Zizou. That’s it, close to Church Street. OK, it’s at 8 York Street. Give it a go.
On Heath Road, Laura Ashley has closed. You’ll now have a go elsewhere to accessorise your home. Or maybe you could pick up some second-hand Laura Ashley gear from the Sue Ryder charity shop that’s replacing it. Although Sue Ryder is a great charity you have to admit that a Shaun Ryder charity shop would be a lot more entertaining: “I would’ve sold that Ben Elton book but I was too off me face to ring it up on the till. Oi Bez! Stop waving those roller skates around! They ain’t maracas, ya know. You’re doin’ me fookin’ ‘ed in”. But times have changed.
Further up Heath Road, a new estate agent has opened going by the name of Websters. It’s opposite Tesco Express in the building that housed the pop-up literary salon and some time prior to that, dare we say it, an estate agent.
Heading towards Hampton Hill? As if you would! But if you do go in that direction then a new hair & beauty salon Purple Rose has opened on Hampton Road in the parade of shops opposite the Prince Albert pub.
And finally, there’s bad news about Langton’s bookshop on Church Street. It seems competition from Amazon, e-books and the general state of the economy have caught up with it. The shop is set to close in June. It’s a real shame that one of Twickenham’s better shops, complete with cafe and helpful staff, is to shut but it’s hard to compete on price when you’ve got town centre overheads to cover while Amazon sells books in bulk from a warehouse or sends them to your Kindle via your own broadband connection. A real loss for the high street that one.
UPDATE: And yet more bad news. Par Ici, the “made in Twickenham” shop on Church Street, is closing its doors at the end of May. Rising bills and tough trading conditions have brought 16 years of promoting local arts and crafts people to an end. It’s hoped that there will be some way to continue to provide an outlet for products with local connections but at the moment it’s still a case of watch this space. Or at least, watch Par Ici’s Facebook page. We wish Michele the best of luck for finding another way to carry on the Par Ici spirit.