A big day, No.3 of 3

Quelle surprise! I’m quoted on the front page of the Camberley News & Mail.

No longer being a borough councillor or Mayor, I’d not imagined that my name or what I’ve said would be worthy of the front page of the local newspaper. Heck, even the words on my blog are part of an article in the Camberley News and Mail about the imminent commencement of work to build a Tesco Express store in Lightwater.

I’m happy to be quoted, the contents of my blog are public domain. I don’t even copyright my photos, mainly because I’m a simple happy snapper, not a photographer. Well done to the press for focussing on little ‘ol Lightwater.

One small point, the article in the New and Mail has a photo that’s a few years old. Below is one I took today. Still no sign of work commencing, though Tesco have confirmed their intention to build a Tesco Express. Click of the images below to expand.

Tesco confirm intention to open a store in Lightwater

Our postmaster – Surinder Gandhum – is a tenacious fellow. He’s been pressing Tesco for some time on their intentions for a Tesco Express store in Lightwater. On Monday he received an email reply from Tesco, this is the material part of the note to Surinder, who kindly forwarded it to me

I can confirm that Tesco is committed to opening a store in Lightwater and are looking forward to serving customers in the area.  We are in the process of finalising our build timetable and although I can’t confirm an opening date at this stage we will keep the community updated going forward.  In the meantime we will endeavour to keep the site in a good condition and if you have any questions about this or any other issues please do not hesitate to contact me.

Chatting to the new manager of Lightwater’s Coop store

I met Peter Davey, the new manager – since January 2017 – of Lightwater’s Coop store, at the Lightwater Business Association’s networking evening on Tuesday evening.

In conversation with Peter, I asked what was the most popular item sold in the store. ‘Easy’, he said, ‘It’s bananas’. This confirms Lightwater shoppers are the same as those nationally, where bananas are also top of the list. Asked by me what was the second most purchased item, Peter said milk. Again the same nationally.

I didn’t have long to talk with Peter, though I did get to ask him of his plans for the store? Improving the look of the Square with plants, and engaging with local customers with a local Twitter account and Facebook page.

Lets wish Peter good luck, and hope he keeps improving the store and it’s lines. In the photo below, Peter is on the right looking straight into my camera.


Tesco Express to commence building in Lightwater in March

The planned Tesco Express store in Lightwater has remained in a state of suspension for three years. The site is an eyesore, and hasn’t added to Lightwater’s ambiance in any way at all.

I learn, from a reliable source that Tesco is intending to recommence building at some time in March. It remains a surprise to me, and I believe others too, that a village which already is well served by M&S Simply Food, Co-op Food store, George Arthur Butchers, and the Cook Shop will contain enough custom to support a Tesco Express store. Ah well, we’ll find out when the store opens.

Old photo of Lightwater’s Budgens used for news story

I happened, as is my wont, to be trawling through the days news, only to find a photo of a place I recognised. And the photo is of Budgens supermarket in Lightwater as it was around 10 years ago.

You’ll have to visit The Guardian’s story about the closure of 35 Budgens stores to see the photo as it’s copyrighted.

The nearest I can get to that photo is one I took in 2006 of Budgens in Lightwater. My photo is nowhere near as good as the one used by the news media. Reinforces my view that I’m a happy snapper with pretensions.

Vacant units adjacent to Waitrose in Bagshot shortly to be occupied

A bit of background first. The Waitrose site was once Notcutts Garden Centre, and they had intended to occupy part of the site adjacent to Waitrose. Notcutts then decided not to proceed, and sought alternative occupiers for their retail space.

This application for alternative occupiers was refused by Surrey Heath planners on the basis of protecting retail sales in Camberley. Notcutts appealed the decision and won their appeal.  On 9th February Surrey Heath Planning Applications Committee reviews an application from Notcutts to,

Subdivision of existing retail unit to provide 3 No. retail units to be used for the following: one unit for the sale of bulky goods and goods relating to outdoor pursuits with ancillary travel clinic (Class A1); one unit for the sale of bulky goods with ancillary pet care, treatment and grooming facilities and installation of mezzanine floor (Class A1); and one used as a cafe/restaurant (Class A3).

So that’ll be a cafe/restaurant, a pet care shop, and an outdoor clothing shop. The planning application is recommended for approval. If your’re keen to read the details on this go HERE, and to page 151 through to page 175.


Lightwater Co-op tell me they’ve re-opended

Jolly nice of the Co-op to post an advertising flyer through our letter box, in which they tell me that ‘Your Lightwater Co-op has re-opened”.

Passing the Co-op this week I noticed workmen erecting a sign in the square. Promising myself to find out about the re-opening and the new sign I visited the store yesterday. Actually, I bought a bottle of their Medium Dry sherry, which is rather good, neither too dry, nor too sweet. Harvey’s Bristol Cream is too sweet for me, and Tio Pepe is much to dry for my taste. [I have written about sherry, and it’s varieties –SEE HERE].

Noticing Gill Price in the square, I walked over to her and asked about the re-opening, thinking I missed something. Well, they did have a day this year when water was pouring through the ceiling – burst pipe perhaps. No, said Gill, it was about the pre-Christmas closure, and she’d received her adverting flyer before Christmas.

Always necessary to ask questions to find out what’s happening. Anyway, I took a photo of the new sign.