Image - London Road, North End in the 1950's.
This week I have been reminded about community and how it can happen even if, like me, you live on the edge of a large city.
Youngest and I walked into town for him to have a haircut - pre going to college haircut required at the hairdressers rather than his mum doing it...
Our town consists of one main high street and is on the outskirts of a very large city.
On our way we passed by the carpet shop that we have used on several occasions over the years, the first time when we moved in 27 years ago and more recently earlier this year. The owner waved at us as we walked past the window. (Tudor Carpets).
Onto the hairdressers which myself and our eldest have been going to since it opened several years ago now. In fact I was in there earlier this week and our eldest was there last week! (Molly Casswell). They know us all by name in there.
Afterwards we walked through the high street, passing our favourite cafe, which is family run, The North End Cafe & Restaurant. They are so lovely in there, the staff know us all by name and we always have a good chat when we visit (which is usually at least once a week).
Onwards, walking past the newsagents that is owned by the parents of our eldest's best friend. They have known each other since primary school and she will be a bridesmaid to our eldest this year too.
Reaching the pet store (coz Eric needed more toys...) which is an independent family run store who are always helpful and friendly. (Pet Price).
Back down the other side of the high street and past several international grocery stores - each of them are wonderful and stock some amazing products - you can literally 'shop the world' in our local high street. Particularly good are Portsmouth Arena and Go Asia. I walk past Lidls to get fruit and vegetables in Portsmouth Arena.
Walking past Costa, because I never go in there, preferring to visit another favourite family run cafe, Robertos. Best sandwiches and my favourite for latte.
And back into our street where we ran into a neighbour from across the road and we exchanged pleasantries.
Our youngest said to me 'how do you know all these people?'
In the old days people always shopped locally and everyone in the street knew everyone else. We try now to shop as much as possible locally - we always use local independent cafes and restaurants.
Although we don't know the names of every single person in our street (it is quite a long street) we do know most of our neighbours by sight, if not by name. In fact they put up with quite a lot from us during our six months of house renovation, without a single complaint. On several occasions neighbours even offered to move their cars when we needed to get lorries outside.
It was a lovely reminder that community is not lost.