Tuesday, 20 November 2012

East, West

Bucklersbury - Hitchin
Brookers, Hitchin

Home's best.

We drove to Welwyn Garden City yesterday to see if John Lewis had several items we needed.

The first, a log basket, was not in stock but was available to order. This was not an option, we could have ordered online but we wanted to handle the goods before purchase.

The second, some wooden buttons for a new knitting project, were not available either. There were lots of fancy ones and plain coloured plastic ones, but no plain, oval, two-holed, natural wooden buttons.

The third I knew was doomed to failure. There are no flat sweater airers to be had in the UK - I have done the research.  John Lewis has deleted such an airer from its data base, despite the fact that there are 18 'on order' wth the store. Someone isn't doing their job and trying to source a replacement model.

We'd driven to Welwyn via a couple of Garden Centres. Vanstone Park, near Codicote, did have some lovely log baskets but none quite fitted the bill. The other, Codicote Garden Centre (formerly Wyvale Garden Centre) had no log baskets in stock.

We drove home, empty handed, via the town centre and called into the local hardware store, Brookers. There we found a pretty log basket, half the price of the ones in John Lewis and the garden centre. The shop assistant in Brookers is also aware that there are no flat sweater airers for sale in the UK and didn't offer to order one from a non-existent supply.

Home Basketware : Log Baskets : Open Sided Basket
Our new log basket is this style

Oh, and the buttons? There are plenty of craft shops in the town, and Tuesday's market, at the haberdashery stall, is always a good starting place.

Co-incidently, I took part in a market research survey at the weekend on the shopping 'experience' in Hitchin and our nearest large town, Stevenage, in which I emphasised over and over again that there was no need to travel outside Hitchin for shopping. I should have listened to myself before venturing 'abroad'.