There is a worthy campaign in hand to renovate the arcade of shops under Marine Court.
This is being championed through Clive Gross, via ‘St Leonards Central’ in Marine Court. While there are a number of existing good, stand-alone, retail outlets along the court, the area could be better presented to act as an additional draw, spreading the town’s allure from the Old Town right along the promenade towards West Marina.
Surely Mugsborough (aka Hastings and St Leonards) should take the opportunity to link this with the 2014 centenary edition of Robert Tressell’s The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by developing a series of retail outlets along Marine Court, or as a trail across the town, using the characters from the book?
You could have ‘Slymes’ (ice cream parlour), ‘Sweaters’ (curry house), ‘Rushtons’ (travel agents), ‘Crass’s’ (joke shop), ‘Philpots’ (off-licence), ‘Hunters’ (outdoors wear), ‘Starvems’ (grocers), ‘Owen’s (betting shop), ‘Grinder’s (hardware).
There could be others such as ‘Makehaste & Sloggit’ (shoe shop), Didlums (car parking office), Wireman’s (electrical retailer), Slumrent’s (property agents), Sawkins’ (vet), The Cave (second hand market), Belcher’s (restaurant).
Those who are familiar with the book will no doubt think of many others.
This could create both a literary and touristic magnet, with visitors possibly seeking to obtain souvenir purchases from across the range. We might even find ourselves with a bus service that travels the complete seafront route.
Just a thought.