Letters - Wednesday, January 15, 2020

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Giveaway deals do not help town centre

It is disappointing to learn about the unexpected closure of the bar and nightclub Home & HQ.

The Nordwin family invested a lot of money in this property which opened in September 2016. They purchased and totally refurbished a closed down town centre freehold (formerly Rumours) at Talbot Square. It quickly became the hottest venue in town and opened on average three or four nights a week. They sold the freehold and business in August 2019. Unfortunately it would seem Home & HQ has suffered since then and is no longer a viable proposition in its current form.

It’s fair to say that the night time economy for places such as theatres, restaurants, bars and nightclubs is nowhere near like the prosperous days of 20 years ago. Nightclubs in particular have huge operating costs and need a minimum weekly footfall / turnover to simply ‘break even’.

Unfortunately like so many other places around the UK, Blackpool town centre has adopted this ridiculously cheap drinks mantra. For licensed premises to be trading either viably or legitimately they genuinely cannot afford to be selling pints of beer , alco pop bottles or spirits in this day and age for an average of £1.50.

Venues which promote these giveaway deals are actually doing themselves no favours and if anything preventing the town from moving forward. Selling alcohol by volume on such water tight margins means you are increasing your liability risks , leaving yourself little or any contingency and giving yourself an unnecessary headache open until 5am.

I do hope the current owners and operators of Home & HQ are able to re-open this great venue and strike a good balance.

A closed down site such as Home & HQ is no good for anyone. In real terms it means less footfall for the town centre. This has a ‘knock-on’ negative effect for other businesses such as security door staff, taxi drivers , takeaways etc .

Blackpool town centre in my opinion with metropolitan style thinking has the potential to see the regeneration benefits like you can find in Liverpool city centre and Manchester’s Northern Quarter.

Admittedly it’s going to take some time but with a sense optimism and realistic aspiration it can be achieved.

In business , turnover means ‘nowt’, it’s what you have left once you have paid all your bills on time that really matters.

By the end of each week, to coin a phrase from the musical ‘A Chorus Line’, “It’s not where you start it’s where you finish” which counts.

In business you can have all the fancy projections, ideas and forecasts in the world, but it’s the till that tells the true tale and pays the bills.

Stephen Pierre

Supporter of Blackpool




and discipline

Re: Army preying on vulnerable teenagers (Your Say, January 9), I wonder if Royston Jones has served in the military?

The recruitment campaign shows a recruit in training, and temptation in front of him from his friends, who want him to forget the Army and join them.

You can still do all these activities - portrayed in the campaign - in the military (with the exception of drugs).

The training and discipline is hard. I did 22 years service and it gave me a discipline, a self-respect for myself, and a loyalty to my fellow recruits.

The Army has many disciplines and the level of training you receive depends on what you choose. Confidence and character-building is part of that life.

Every soldier in uniform is just that, a soldier, first and foremost, and highly trained.

Some choose to be a tradesman, others choose combat roles. From then on, the training is specific to your role. We are not brainwashed, we are a highly disciplined military unit, and respected around the world as such.

Not everybody can handle this and return to civilian life. We have become a nation of snowflakes, and, as such, the training of our young soldiers reflects this. They are mollycoddled now and are almost tucked up in bed at night by the duty sergeants.

We need this discipline if we are to remain the best.

Mick Wareing

22-year veteran


Reunions on

the agenda

Regular readers will recall a letter of mine, explaining the camaraderie of those who had served in the Royal Navy.

I explained that this could be relived at the various reunions held around the country and that these

were listed on the www.

rnshipmates.co.uk site under ‘Reunions’.

Well, thank you, you have certainly scored and made a lot of ex-servicemen think back again.

They have emailed me on royalnavyreunions@gmail.com and the secretaries of various associations have contacted me. The consequence?

A lot more reunions have been held and a lot more old shipmates reunited and reliving their past experiences!

With Christmas and the New Year celebrations behind us, reunions are again on the agenda, therefore could I ask reunion organisers and secretaries to let me have details of your reunion for listing?

This is a free service and can be done by yourself on www.rnshipmates.co.uk site under ‘Reunions’ or by emailing the details to me on royalnavyreunions@gmail.com

Does a ‘Letter to the Editor’ work? The printed word stays. “Dear Mike, six months ago we were packing to move house. I used pages from the local newspaper to pack the glassware.

“I have just unpacked the last of the glasses and I have just read your letter on one of the ‘straightened out’ pages!”

Mike Crowe

RN Shipmates


7 Heath Road, Sandown

Isle of Wight

PO36 8PG