Friday, 6 January 2012

Jamie, our fishman, came yesterday. He'd been ringing up before Christmas on the offchance but I didn't have room in the freezer so I never got back to him. But he rang again yesterday, so I was pleased to tell him to call.

He's got a new van (which in all honesty looks identical to the last one, but I didn't like to tell him that). And somehow, between changing vans, he's left his zipzap machine in the old one so couldn't take debit cards. Have I got a cheque book? Fortunately the answer is yes, so I head out to new van complete with cheque book and card (er, no I don't need card, apparently).

Problem. Inside he has a big freezebox made of 2" thick polystyrene. He goes to open door but ... ah! freezebox has inexorably shifted an inch or two to the right, so he can't open freezebox door. After about 5 minutes he manages, using full boot strength, etc, to shift the freezebox enough that he can carry on trading.

I'm trying to support a local independent trader but... oh well you only have to look at his website to see what he's up against. I can't find it at the moment, but one of the offerings when he first started up on his own was the "Cock'o'van" - I kid you not.

In other news, the arrogant bastard has opened up another shop in the area - .

This is the story of Stuart Montgomery, an arrogant shit who thinks he can just open his Costa Coffee branches anywhere he likes. He already has branches in Portishead and Henleaze and then he opened one, without planning permission for a change of use, on Whiteladies Road in a premises which used to be a newsagent (and I have indeed shopped there myself in the past). Another local coffee shop has already reported reduced takings since Costa opened.

After that he decided to open another branch on the Gloucester Road (notable for being possibly the last real high street in the country). Despite a petition of 3,000 signatures, and a refusal of planning permission (not least based on the 18 coffee shops in the vicinity), he decided to open up here anyway.

And now he's opened another one in Westbury-on-Trym. He seems determined to walk rough-shod over everyone else for his own gain. Bristol City Council say they are investigating, but as they are the most useless council in the country I don't hold out much hope.


  1. I listened to a radio programme about *the other well-known coffee shop chain* a couple of years ago and how they open branches without planning permission and apply retrospectively. Even if refused, they appeal repeatedly, drive the independents out of business and then can say they're the only one in the area. Absolutely shocking. In the small town 7 miles from here, Tesco was opening a store, applied for a petrol station, it was refused, they appealed - and the local council couldn't afford to contest it so had to give in.

  2. How much coffee can the people of Bristol drink? You must all be walking around with dilated pupils and juddering.

  3. I'm surprised that Costa don't require proof froma potential franchisees of planning status. many other franchise operations do. Just shows Costa are so blase they don't care about the possible negative publicity attacing to their brand. Only way to deal with this is to boycott them - but people won't, they're so addicted to over-priced 'coffee'.

    Fond memories of the Gloucester Road from the mid-80s when I used to stay nearby for two nights every week for a year with a friend.