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?

Ms Jones, Darlington