Ditch The Mouse (and go oldschool shopping in Ross On Wye)
Like many towns in modern Britain. Ross On Wye has roads lined with shops, some of which struggle to make ends meet. They blame all sorts of things for this. Out of town supermarkets and shopping malls, brexit, the wrong type of leaves on the pavement, etc etc. But the weird thing is, people are still shopping, perhaps more than ever. So why are shops going dark?. It all boils down to one thing. The rise of clickbait on that damn interwebby thingamajig.
Nowadays we all shop online till our fingers drop. Every day is black Friday. Why go out in the cold and rain when you can travel right up the amazon without leaving your chair, or owning a paddle? Human nature is like water, it finds its own level. You will do what’s easiest, unless… and here’s the crunch… unless what you want to buy requires you to pick it up, to balance it in your hand, judge it’s quality for yourself. That’s when shopping has to go old school, when a photo and several reviews by people you have never met, can’t begin to cut the mustard.
True shopping heaven lies on the path, actually, in real shops that line the pavement. Buying stuff to adorn your home, that you will look at, love and cherish, stuff that will add value to your very soul, has to be bought in the flesh.
There are now a shed load of shops in Ross that have shelves and showrooms groaning with collectable objects, all allowing customers to try them before they buy them. You could spend a whole day touring round checking them out ( With suitable Coffee/refuelling breaks at the many fine watering holes ).
The rise of the upcycled / vintage / semi-antique / wall yum yum / is as plain as a pike-staff. There used to be just a few antique shops, but now many more traders have seen the writing on the virtual wall. In the past year two of Ross’s larger well established Iron Mongers have closed down, only to reopen as emporiums of unusual home furnishing and general grooviness. Parkers on Gloucester Road and The General Tool store on Brookend Street have both morphed in this way. Parkers becoming ‘Samax Antiquities’ (a visit to their basement and 1st Floor Aladdin’s Cave’s are an absolute must). The Tool Store has become ‘The Architectural Store’, again brimming over with brilliant stuff for the Ross Hipster.
There are loads of others. ‘Loved Again Furniture’, ‘Relics’, ‘Waterfall Antiques’, ‘Inside Outside’, ‘Vintage Virtu’, and many more, stretching around the town. There are at least twenty, all featuring antique furniture, upcycled gems, preloved, quirky decorative items from classy hand made objects d’art, to your bog standard knick knack.
If you want an interesting day out shopping, without a mouse in sight, treat yourself to a leisurely browse round Ross. There are plenty of other independent shops as well, including milliners, art supplies, traditional sweets, florists, a music shop, a butchers, bakers, even candlestick makers ( there are two candlestick makers in ‘Made In Ross’ artists collective housed in the historic Market House in the centre of town, which is also one of five Tourist Information points ). …and don’t forget a mid morning coffee, a delicious lunch, or afternoon tea. Or push the boat right out and stay for dinner at one of the many high quality restaurants also flourishing.