Sometimes it’s the things right in front of our noses which escape us. I’ve recently been discovering the amazing shops in the High Street and Rodger Street in Anstruther. I kind of knew they were there, having driven past them umpteen times, but until I got out of my car and took the time to explore, I had no idea how far removed they were from the homogenized high streets and generic shopping centres where I habitually shop.
A traditional pet shop which breeds rare rabbits and guinea pigs people travel the length and breadth of Scotland to purchase; the kind of hardware shop I remember from my childhood where the proprietor can miraculously lay his hands on whatever you need (I tested him with upholstery nails); a genuinely independent book shop; a sweetie and ice-cream shop; a pharmacy; a bespoke barber’s shop; a charity shop concealing the treasures of a jumble sale. But also bang up-to-date businesses such as a family-friendly ceramic café and shops selling organic cotton and herbal supplements.
All these shops and more, old and new, are independent and unique.
My pitiful ignorance, however, was far from unique, as I learnt yesterday when I had a cup of coffee with some of their proprietors in the ceramic café. While people flock to the chip shops and cafes on the shore, very few venture up the hill to discover the delights of the High Street and Rodger Street. One recent visitor to the town was even heard saying it was a shame Anstruther had no high street!
So yesterday a community project was born: to shine a light on these extraordinary streets.
To this end, a public meeting has been called at the Anstruther Ceramic Café on Thursday 10th August at 5.30 pm.
If you want to help put the High Street and Rodger Street back on the map and get the word out about their amazing inhabitants, please come along on Thursday. If you can’t come, do send me an email and I will put you on the mailing list.