Business matters in
South Leamington



Do you have to be born in an area to be a patriot? I don’t think so – I’ve only lived here for five years, and I have to say it: Leamington Spa is my kind of town.

South of the river, at least. North, if you look above the shopfronts you can see the Regency grandeur, but most people don’t. They look at the shops, and what they see looks exactly the same as every other shopping street.

A Very Strange High Street

In Old Town, though, we have a very strange High Street. A High Street with no “High Street stores”. Not even a High Street bank (though I might have a rant about that on another occasion). Old Town – distinguished with the CV31 postcode – is unique. A collection of shops, offices, workshops, mostly run by independent traders, all doing what they think is going to be best for their customers, and therefore for their business. North of the river is the land of the Store Manager, doing what they’re told by Head Office. It doesn’t matter how much they understand their customers and what they want, they’re never going to be allowed to do it their way.

If you buy at a chain store, how much of the money stays in the area? Rates, staff wages, and very little else. And most big chains try to screw both of those figures down to the smallest they can get away with. Stock comes from large warehouses that could be anywhere in the country. Accountancy, legal advice, advertising, repairs... you name it, they handle it all from Head Office.

But an independent trader mostly spends locally. The money stays here, and gets spent again and again. What makes a region prosperous isn’t just how much is earned, but how much of it stays in the area. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t use chain stores or buy online. Sometimes it’s the only way you can get what you need, and sometimes there are big savings in doing it that way. Not always, though. A few months ago I needed some blank DVDs. I nearly bought them at Asda, but in the nick of time discovered that they were actually cheaper at Click Ok! in Bath Street.

And it’s not just about the money. If you need solid advice, you’re more likely to get it from an independent trader.  If I want advice about a DIY project, for instance, I’ll buy from Lamats in Regent Place. At Classic Printers we’ll help with wording a leaflet or poster, or laying it out for best impact. And so on.

This site started because I was looking for a domain to host my employer’s website. Gone. Gone. And anyway, not quite what I wanted. The ideal would be something that says “this is who we are; this is where we are; this is what we do.” Then I had a bright idea. Checked it out. was available. So our website is now at who we are, where we are, what we do, all in an easy-to-remember form. I’d like the domain to build up into a CV31 community, all of the form Anybody who wants to go that route, please get in touch with me. I’m doing it as a hobby rather than to make a lot of money, so it won’t cost the earth. Or if you don’t want a website, but want a good-looking email address, I can fix you up with “” Again, get in touch.