The high street – From a different perspective

I had my eyes opened last night whilst watching ‘Titanic 100 Mystery Solved’ so I thought I should share my thoughts.

Titanic Charm available for £20 from Charmed.
Click the pic to go to their website.

My brother has been infatuated with this luxury white star liner since he was little and has always updated me on the latest theories but what this latest Titanic programme stated in its summary made me think about things a little differently. May I add that the 3D simulation of the reverse sinking fo the ship in the hanger is truly fantastic so if you see this repeated and have a slight interest in this subject then watch it! Anyhow I digress...
In the hundred years since Titanic sailed into the history books everyone has focused on the flaws of Titanic but the researcher of this show believes is we should really marvel at the fact Titanic landed on the seabed in huge chunks which indicates that in fact this ship was built extremely strong. A total of 705 people survived the 1912 maritime disaster and whilst there would have been time to dispatch more lifeboats the ship’s architect Thomas Andrews stated it would only stay afloat for one hour and a half hours, amazingly it stood strong for two hours and forty minutes. The reason why there was time for all the lifeboats to leave the ship is because the ship endured forces which no other ship, even today could withstand.

Don’t get me wrong a serious amount of people perished in this disaster but it is interesting to know that it’s extremely lucky that as many as 705 people were rescued by the Carpathia. It's also worth noting that Fifth Officer Lowe saved 70 people (10% of the survivors) from the freezing waters by ferrying them in his lifeboat from the wreckage to four lifeboats which had been tethered together.

This got me thinking whilst I was in bed, about Woolworths oddly enough; bear with me on this one as it is going to be a bit of a random ride.

It is regularly touted that the high street is sinking into despair with the loss of large shops like Woolworths, the Co-op high street stores (Whitley Bay and Wallsend for example) and more recently Peacocks and Bon Marche. To be fair the Internet iceberg whacked the high street where it hurts without shop keepers realising the impact had occured and it’s been taking in water ever since so you can understand the desire to seek out what flaws have lead to their closure.

The sad thing is that if you think about it, if a little ship goes under nothing is really said, it’s not big news but if a massive cruise liner like Woolworths sinks with 27,000 job losses over 807 stores then people naturally focus on its downfall. But the fact of the matter is that this retail high street chain managed with an average of only 33 staff members per store. It made a whooping £7.5m profit which came from a turnover of £2,969,600,000 in 2008 when it started closing its stores. That this chain was able to make this amount of money whilst closing, to me is truly amazing!

So I started to wonder last night how many Christmas and birthday presents where sold from this shop and how many children spent their pocket money in there. How many people had Woolies help pay mortgages or rent and bills by providing them jobs since opening, how many people started their career there, the list of wonders continue…

However, I do believe we need to stand back and marvel at all shops great or small, that are still surviving like little lifeboats in a storm waiting for the wind to calmly change direction and bring them closer to dry land or in some cases another company to pick them up and take them in as one of their passengers.

Rosewill Cottage may be a small lifeboat, but in these dangerous waters where the ships on the high streets are sinking in their masses, we’re extremely lucky to be holding our own but this because we're locating on a fantastic high street.

So my thought of today is:

You may witness larger ships floundering in the North sea, but it is worth remembering that whilst the smaller lifeboats of Whitley Bay may not hold in choppy waters on their own, tethered together as a collective Park View is strong!