Mary French remembers her customers in the hairdressers.

And do they talk about the changes that they’ve seen and…?

They, tend to… in varying different ways, yeah. You know, nobody really, everybody is the common consensus, ‘Oh, it’s a shame the market’s gone’.

And… I’ve heard that statement for so many, years and for so many times and I tend to say to people, ‘Well, if you were gonna miss it that much, why didn’t you use it when it was there?’

You know, the same people that miss it, were people, who, never used it or would just come into the salon, have their hair done and go straight out again.

And complain that the market was run-down.

And… yeah. And they didn’t bother to look around to see if they… could get a bargain or stop for a cup of coffee with a friend and have a chat. A lot of people do miss it, though… A lot of people to this day, still say they miss the market. Particularly, I mean, amongst, like a lot of my clients, they do say that they missed it. And a lot of them used to come in and they’d go to the greengrocer’s, they’d have a walk around. ‘cause for some people, it was a little community. And it was a, it was a, you know, you always, you could always bump into somebody in there that you knew, and you could always stop and have a chat with somebody.

You know, you still had customer service, for a start… that you don’t get in the, from the big boys.

D’you think some of that community feeling is starting to come back into the new Swan Centre?

[Draws breath] From what I’ve seen myself, erm, particularly, and I’m not… you know, just blowing Tesco’s horn for the sake of blowing it. But I’ve found, like… people I know, say, for argument’s sake, from Bakeman House, who’ve had health issues and problems and all that, and bearing in mind, I’ve known these people for years because they were in and out ‘cause they were there then. And, erm, I’ve seen the way the staff deal with them and I have to say, you have to commend them, because they have time to chat and they… well, they make time to chat… or they appear to be giving that person their attention and… you know. I mean, I know several people in there, who’d kind of go to staff and tell them, ‘Oh, it’s my birthday today’, and all the rest of it and they make a fuss of them. Or their husband’s gone into hospital and they go and tell them because they’ve got nobody else to tell. And there is, yeah, there is that kind of cam, camaraderie around there,

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