Although commercially we are gradually opening up, the pandemic is still with us, and I hope everyone is still in good health. I find that without meeting people face to face a lot of information about local business and our lives is not available; Zoom and Team are not adequate replacements. Consequently, we have decided to restart some of our breakfast and lunch meetings and there is more information further on in this newsletter.
Dacorum Council’s economic development team are doing a lot of work in High Street regeneration in Hemel, Berkhamsted and Tring. Within Berkhamsted there are still plans to look at car parking and the government legislation for open air dining has led to a number of us enjoying a continental style life, or a Soho existence, during the summer months.
However, a number of shops have closed in all three towns. In Berkhamsted I have no information as to who will take on the lease for M&Co, Laura Ashley and Carphone Warehouse. Although some of the smaller vacated premises are now under offer, with some interesting offerings in particular the champagne and flower proposition. I have been informed that the lease for Bill’s has been taken on by Lussmann’s who have a small chain of fish restaurants in Hertfordshire, I have been to their restaurant in Harpenden and enjoyed it. According to their web site they expect to open in November.
The fact that Barclays Bank decided to close its Berkhamsted branch was not helpful to local business. However, they are meant to be gracing the High Street with their mobile bank on August 31st and September 14th and 28th, and I am informed will have a position on the loading bay by Waterstone’s and Costa Coffee. I hope that the closure is not a foretaste of things to come, and Berkhamsted will become another bankless town in the Home Counties.
I have been told that Aitchisons residential offices in Berkhamsted and St Albans have now merged with Hertfordshire based estate agency Ashtons. Some of you will have noticed that the Wednesday, and in particular the Saturday open air markets have expanded, and there are extra stalls. I have spoken with the market manager and he informs me that the market is attracting customers from other local towns and that the multi storey carpark has helped as access by car to the Town is much easier. He will monitor the expansion, but it is hoped that the markets, and the monthly farmer’s market, will become a visitor attraction.
CLIMATE ACTION BERKHAMSTED
We have posted on our web site information about the Berkhamsted Great Big Green Week, which is being supported by the local council and other local organisations. The week is from the 18th to the 26th September and there are a number of events and activities. If any of you are participating could you let me know firstname.lastname@example.org as BDCC is interested in how we could be involved. There is a kick- off in the Civic Centre on the 18th September with a number of events and activities.
Our next breakfast meeting is at the Berkhamsted cricket club on Wednesday 15th September and the first lunch event of 2021 will be held at the Copper House on Berkhamsted High street, on Wednesday October 20th, further details will be sent out nearer the dates.
Festival of Light
Currently the plan is to hold the festival on Sunday 28th November, when we receive more information it will be sent out to you.
We have been encouraging some of you to take part in this ancient sport at Berkhamsted School, all equipment and tuition will be provided, and it is for all ages, men and women and you do not need to have played previously. Now my knee has been fixed I intend to make an effort for the first session which will be on 7.00PM Wednesday 22nd September at the Fives Courts at the Castle Campus so put-on whatever sports gear that you have and your trainers and come along. It is certainly a networking event with a difference, and obviously a small libation in a local hostelry afterwards. Please contact email@example.com for more information and if you want to join in.
Due to increasing demand for their services they have welcomed to their team another osteopath, Jason Gibbs-Jones. Jason was brought up in Berkhamsted and went to school locally. He has a Masters degree from the University College in Osteopathy. More information can be obtained by contacting Berkhamsted Osteopaths at firstname.lastname@example.org.
They also have linked up with a local Berkhamsted company that sell high quality office clearance chairs, which would help with back problems. If you are interested please go to their web site on https://www.trendofficefurniture.co.uk and quote TRENDOSTEO10…15 for a 10% discount or email Bex on email@example.com
Nicola Few, of Rise architects has asked me if anyone would like to be a Governor of the Castle Federation which is the governing body for Victoria Infant and Thomas Coram Church of England Schools in Berkhamsted. If any of you who want to be involved more in the local community and would like to become a Governor, please contact Nicola for more information on Nicola.firstname.lastname@example.org
Our local MP Gagan Mohindra is looking for an office in Berkhamsted, does anyone have a small office to let or aware of anyone else who does? If so, please contact email@example.com.
Berkhamsted Book Festival
This will be held on Sunday November 7th, time TBA. This year the main site will be the Old Town Hall and there is help from St Peter’s Church. More information will be issued when we get it but currently it is being hosted by Robin Ince and Nigel Barden. So please put the date in your diaries.
The BDCC barbecue was held recently on Wednesday 18th August at the Berkhamsted Cricket Club. Fortunately, it did not rain and about 100 attended, and were entertained by some brilliant keyboard playing by Joseph Beadle, an old boy of Berkhamsted School who is now at Cambridge University. A good meal was served to all and the bar handled many orders. However, the theme of the evening was to raise money for the five local charities who are members of the Chamber and in alphabetic order they are: AgeUK Dacorum, Berkhamsted Town Hall Trust, DENS, Open Door Berkhamsted and The Hospice of St Francis, with all the ticket donations, raffle money and contribution from BDCC this raised £1500 to be evenly split. Yet, there was a further donation of £1000 made by Berkhamsted School which means that £2500 will be distributed.
Finally, would anyone be interested in helping with a celebration of the Queen’s platinum jubilee next year in early June?
If you have any information about your business or local events please let firstname.lastname@example.org know, we can publish it in the newsletter or if it is urgent by sending a mailer round to the members.
Pete Elsworth – Chair
07901 515381 – email@example.com