WHAT an up and down visit I’ve just had to Darlington town centre.

  • Local newsagent – quick but quiet
  • Duke Street – yet more barbers
  • Nationwide – helpful
  • Wilko – my return was processed eventually
  • WH Smith – empty of customers and goods
  • Next – online orders till was only area busy
  • M&S – two staff manning all non-food tills, huge queue, gave up waiting to return sale item, toilet stop was the main draw
  • Said hello to Big Issue seller
  • Waterstones for coffee – loud businessman on mobile so I resorted to listening to radio on headphones
  • Approached twice by charity salespeople
  • Narrowly escaped collision with youth on bike
  • Lost count of number of beggars, possibly homeless – ironically they were outside empty retail units.

I expect M&S and WH Smith to be next to close and House of Fraser posted poor results on the day of my visit.

Is there any hope for our town centre?

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Ms Jones, Darlington