BLAMING closures and other disruptions in normal business on the Covid Plague is a temptation many organizations have been unable to resist, as if everything worked perfectly before the pandemic.
Whatever the causes, four closures in Bath in the past year have been lamented.
One – For those of us in search of hammers, screws, and plug fuses, family-owned and run Langbridges in Larkhall was the first port of call. For more than 60 years, this family-owned store – some of us, of a certain age, knew it as ironmongers – was the must-go-to when when in need of plug fuses, screwdrivers, and, er, screws … plus, for intrepid Do-It-Yourselfers, cement mixers, drain rods, and scaffold towers.
The interweb has helped to finish it off. People would go in, get the staff’s always helpful advice, and then buy online … and then, perhaps, have nowhere to go for advice.
Two – Reboot Computer Services in Walcot has been knocked out after 27 years by Corvid-19 and those pre-Plague ‘challenging retail conditions’. Its owners saw puzzled customers through the years from Windows 95 to Windows 10, sold 1st class reconditioned laptops, and spoke in a type of plain English unknown by the youngsters who sell IT in the chainstores.
Three – Woods, hard by the also closed Royal Mineral Water Hospital (1738) in the heart of Georgian Bath, sold stationery since 1066. No, I made that up … it’s been selling pens, pencils, ink, and paper for 220 years. Its end came some months before the Plague.
Four – Please … please let the closure of the Little Cinema – known just as The Little – be temporary. Opening in 1935, it was owned by the family of the founders, Consuelo de Reyes and her stage designer husband Peter King, until it joined Picturehouse Cinemas group.
An old-school art house cinema that’s kept its 1930s charms, and kept up with digital sound and projection technology.