Well, what a day - full-on volunteer clean-up at the House of Hastings. It makes me very proud and feels like we're really getting somewhere. House of Hastings was the original shop that spurred me to think that 'meanwhile use' was a good idea - that we needed to do something to sort out shops that were in private ownership but had little or no prospect of a commercial let.
Last week we signed a meanwhile lease (3-month minimum, then rolling). Today we cleaned everything off the windows, took up the layers of carpet and hardboard (to reveal nice wooden floorboards) and generally cleaned and polished and sorted all day long, with people calling in all the time to ask what was going on - the footfall is amazing. We had great sandwiches courtesy of Cassandra and Sybilla, local traders were very generous (especially St Michael's Hospice shop and the Wood Shop) and I want to thank everyone who came and helped, or even just came and looked. There's a very good spirit in Queens Road that I hope we can tap into to sustain the momentum. A window cleaner called in today and promised to do the outsides next week and the broken ones are being replaced very soon.
Back there again tomorrow (Sunday 28th March) 11am-4pm if anyone fancies helping... Anyway, we'll be celebrating next weekend - 6-9pm Saturday 3rd April.