Now nearly three months into 2019, it seems extraordinary to me that it’s been two decades since 1999 – the final year of the previous millennium. My children have never heard of the millennium bug and so are oblivious to the fears that haunted us at the time – bank accounts would be wiped clean, planes would drop from the skies and all computers would simultaneously crash at one nanosecond past midnight on the 1st January 2000.
Back in 1999, I was working for SMBC on more celebratory ‘millennium activities’ – I was part of a team planning, (amongst other things), tree plantings, the opening of the Hat Works, new blue plaques and a community grant scheme. The public consultation to determine Stockport’s millennium celebrations had resulted in some suggestions that were too saucy (yes really!) and others that were just impractical, but I do remember myself and colleagues wishing that we could deliver some of the ideas we’d received to improve the town centre that were unfortunately a little too costly.
It saddens me immensely then, when I hear Heatons friends say that they never go into Stockport, because I feel a huge sense of loyalty towards our town centre. The Heatons is always my first priority, but after that I would support Stockport as my town as I support Manchester as my city. In an ideal, local economy dream, the town centre retailers should be our next port of call when we can’t get what we need in The Heatons.
I admit to missing some of the bigger high street retailers that have sadly disappeared from Stockport centre, but my resolve to shop there remains as strong as ever – after all it’s in our own interest to have a thriving town within such a short distance from home. In ever changing times, it may sound as though we at MOOR don’t alter our constant shop local mantra, but having a gradually widening ripple of loyalty, spreading from The Heatons to encompass Stockport and then Manchester, can make a real difference to the area.