It’s not a paper that I would choose to read, but in the Daily Express last week was an article entitled ‘Britain’s best high streets‘, and, pleasingly, it mentioned Wharf Street in my adopted home town of Sowerby Bridge – pictured above during the Rushbearing festival.
Now, since it only features three towns, it’s not exactly an authoritative article and I’m sure there are many better high streets out there. But Wharf Street is pretty good as high streets go – we have an independent bakery, grocer, butchers, a post office, two banks and a wide range of specialist and boutique shops. There’s also a number of restaurants, including two good curry houses, and a bistro which is listed in the Good Food Guide. And there’s a market which is open most days of the week.
It’s held up against two supermarkets – Lidl is just up the hill, and there’s a reasonably-sized Tesco at the western end of the town – probably because the independent shops here tend to offer services that are better than or different to what the supermarkets can provide.
It’s not perfect though. Three of the pubs on Wharf Street are currently shut – two have closed recently and one has been shut for some time. And with it being the main road between Halifax and Rochdale it is very busy with traffic, making it a rather noisy place to be with rather narrow pavements. However, the variety and quality of shops is one of the things that drew us to the town and, two years after moving here, we’re still generally in love with the place.