Our town could be so much better

AS it was a sunny day, my wife and I took a leisurely stroll around Blyth.

At the site of the old Crofton Mill Colliery we saw a rust-corroded memorial tub with a plaque on it commemorating the colliery.

This tub surely deserves a better site – and some repairs. Further along the road, closer to where the colliery gates once stood, would be a much more prominent place for the memorial.

Other towns tend to have these commemorative tubs too, but usually they take more pride in them.

Speaking of tubs, along Waterloo Road, on the market side, there are some tidy-looking plant tubs – but where are the flowers?

Walking along Regent Street, we thought of the shops that recently disappeared when a compulsory purchase order closed them down to make way for Morrisons’ new car park.

As well as those demolished shops there are also other empty shop units in Blyth.

Hopefully fresh customers attracted by Morrisons might possibly take time to buy from the smaller shops before they too are forced to close down.

The council should do more to encourage smaller businesses in the town centre.

One glimmer of hope is raised by Bradley’s well-stocked shop, which is a shining example of a thriving local business that has survived all attempts by larger stores to take away their trade.

I feel that the efficiency of their staff has a lot to do with its survival.

Walking along Bridge Street, we stopped for coffee at a neat little cafe on the corner of Sussex Street.

We then passed the Kings Head and Steamboat, two pubs that once were filled with the sounds of music and chatter. Now they stand empty and sadly neglected.

Diagonally across the road, opposite the beautifully refurbished Oddfellows, is St Cuthbert’s Church, in the churchyard of which lie the mortal remains of our local strong man, Willie Carr.

Would it not be a good idea to have some sort of memorial plaque erected in his honour, even though no one is 100 per cent certain exactly where he is buried?

Close by the church, at the rear of Bath Terrace, there is an impressive 18th century lighthouse – with paint peeling from it.

Why not restore its interior and charge tourists to climb to the top for what must be a fantastic view of Blyth riverside?

In short, Blyth has a lot going for it, but with the help of a few pots of paint, brass memorial plaques and a few flowers it could look much better.