World War 1 – Bootle has a 3 month Pop-Up Shop/Museum

And again continuing my First World War theme for 2014

This pop-up shop opened yesterday and I was pleased to be there. It’s well worth a visit if you are going to The Strand Shopping Centre in Bootle.

The recreation of a WW1 trench is very well done indeed and there is a lot of information on display. I understand that young people with disabilities helped to construct the recreated trench working with Sefton Council’s Rangers.

Here are a few shots I took at the opening event held at 11am yesterday:-

Sefton Mayor Kevin Cluskey opens the shop

Sefton Mayor Kevin Cluskey opens the shop

Cllr. Peter Dowd (Leader of Sefton) talking to Cllr. Fred Weavers (a former SBS serviceman). Looks like Fred has told Peter one of his bad jokes.

Cllr. Peter Dowd (Leader of Sefton) talking to Cllr. Fred Weavers from Southport who is a former SBS serviceman. Looks like Fred has told Peter one of his bad jokes.

A WW1 trench recreated

A WW1 trench recreated

Cllr. Weavers again this time with Cllr. Bruce Hubbard (of Maghull TC) who is one of the local historians who have been working on the project.

Cllr. Weavers again this time with Cllr. Bruce Hubbard of Maghull Town Council who is one of the local historians who have been working on the project.

There are more photos amongst my Flickr shots at:-

Emporium now there’s an odd word but entrepreneur that’s a vital one.

The dictionary definition of emporium is:- A shop, usually a large one, that offers a wide selection of goods.

I raise this because of a Maghull Town Team project that I am presently involved in where ‘Emporium’ is to be the name of a temporary shop unit, in Maghull Square. It will be there for start-up businesses to have a go, by renting one of 8 bays in the shop unit, to see if their business may be viable on the High Street for real. It is a part of the ‘Pop Up Shop’ trend that is appearing in empty shop units in shopping centres across the UK.

It is funded by the Coalition Government’s ‘Portas’ funding stream (like Maghull Community Radio that a posted about few days ago) and may well move from one empty shop unit to another as they come off and go on lease in the ‘normal’ cycle of retail units.

I Googled ‘emporium’ to see what came up and below is what did:-

The Emporium Clitheroe – Welcome to the Emporium. A truly intoxicating lifestyle experience. half coffee shop, wine bar and brassiere; half interior design superstore.

Vinyl Emporium – Liverpool, Merseyside – Books, Mags, Music & Video › Vinyl Records?

The Tattoo Emporium, Liverpool, United Kingdom

Inn Beer Emporium Reviews, Liverpool, Merseyside – Attractions …Things to do in Liverpool

Ginger’s Comfort Emporium, Manchester – we want to mark a great season with a special menu.

My point? A really good project, but Emporium by name? Or is that just me? You see I am in a minority in holding a questioning view about the suitability of the name. But hey, let’s go with the flow, greater minds than mine think differently.

But this project links back to my long held view/concern for the future of those parts of the UK where dependency on public sector jobs is high and I say this despite being a creature of the public sector all my working life. What I have realised is that the well intentioned (and cost saving) move, by government after government, of public sector jobs out of the South East to the North West, North East, Scotland and Wales etc. in the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s has had an unintended negative consequence. The negative is that it can lead to less entrepreneurs coming to the fore in such areas because a job in the public sector is often the obvious choice for a young person whose whole working family may well have been public sector workers.

But whether we like it or not we live in a capitalist economy, one which no matter what some politicians may say, can only be successful if in each generation there are sufficient young people with the determination to generate wealth.

The project that I am a part of has to address this vital issue. It is not just about creating jobs but about setting the scene for successful businesses to be started, to thrive and then for those businesses to employ others. It is this important cycle that has been to some degree broken in communities that have became too dependent on the public sector to provide jobs. Sefton, in my view, is in that category but with the notable exception of Southport which does have a significantly high proportion of small to medium sized business.

Whether we call it (the shop unit) an ’emporium’ or anything else the real test for it will be the flow of young people in particular who have wealth creating ideas that they want to road test within it. It’s going to be an interesting and I hope successful project.

The video below links to this project and it starts my old mate Les (Frank Hornby) French:-