How to kill off a small town


(David Martin) #53

Two different things. The main concern is the killing off of the community. The Nazi thing is something else. If you find it acceptable that says a lot about you. You are brave to make such a stand in a public forum. What do you know about the town? Nothing. A lot of hot air blowing from the south.


(Harry Fawcett) #54

im not getting involved in the nazi thing that is his personal choice. Please do point out to me where I have said its acceptable as i certainly cannot remember writing that. I certainly would not be friends or have anything to do with such a person but its got sweet fudge all to do with the decline ion a commune that’s been going down hill for years due to how many tourists live there a minuscule amount of time compared to full time families.

Then again know it all are someone else I try to avoid as well even though they are perfectly normal human beings.

Little bit of research and a few questions later and I got the low down from an actual resident, who by the way does not want to get involved in this conversation due to some of the parties involved in this discussion. They even admit that they along with many people they know are probably the root cause of the lack of people in the community long before he started buying up houses up for his big plan.


(David Martin) #55

And my real local resident is worse informed than yours? I think not. Mine is real. Come and see the situation for yourself then decide. Until then your posts are worthless. You do not know the region or the people, stick to what you know.


(Harry Fawcett) #56

not at all they may have a difference of opinion, as I know th other person and i do not know your “local” contact I go with what ive been told from a person who owns a holiday home there.

End of the day the place has gone down hill because of tourist homes, that bloke has not helped and as much as you would love to be able to blame him you cannot. as I said, give me some hard evidence which is the third time ive asked, put up or shut up as they say.

Until you can provide evidence to show this bloke is the sole reason for the downfall of a community which has been in free fall for many years btw, which is clear when looking at yearly data.

What you are saying is that there are not many holiday homes owned by foreigners? show me facts not fiction that you and your pals choose to play with make believe figures to make it look like your are 100% right.

As I said give us pure facts (if you had facts in the form of documented proof you would have posted by now)


(Véronique Langlands) #57

You seem very passionate about and involved in this particular case, Harry.


(Harry Fawcett) #58

Nope, what I do see is a person getting the blame for all the wrong reasons.

His very odd obsession in collecting nazi stuff seems to have made him the scape goat in all this and while im pretty sure it has not won him any friends locally, the town was in decline long before that and it seems to me and others that the local mayor is using him as a main reason for its decline.

End of the day they are doing too little too late and if they focused all their effort into revitalising the town that they have clearly wasted on this one man and his odd behaviour which has not helped but was not the root cause of the issue.


(Harry Fawcett) #59

now if this post had been about his “collection” I would not be a fan of his. My grandad was while he was alive Polish and he was in the polish army during ww2 and fought to defeat the nazi regime and we lost allot of our family tree when they invaded Poland so i have no love for them or anyone who supports them still.

But this is all about a towns decline like many many others that are in decline, hence the recent funding of over 200 towns to g=bring them back to life. Just a pity this town was missed out.


(Paul Flinders) #60

David and Harry both seem very passionate indeed.

Widening the debate, if we can, it was mentioned that several close by villages also seem in decline- @David - would you agree with this and, if so, why do you think this is the case? Obviously you feel strongly that Mr Wheatcroft has contributed materially to the decline of Luchapt but what of other towns in the area?

Not unlike our village - with the closure of the bar and the butchers a small Dépôt de pain/bar/general store was opened in a property owned by the community - with a bail dérogatoire to keep costs and commitment down. Sadly even with a rent of only 250€ a month it was not profitable and closed after a couple of years. We supported it when we were there but I was never clear how the proprietor was managing on the trade she was generating.

As I have observed before those communities which have maintained shops tend to have populations larger than than about 1000-1250, pretty much all the smaller villages have lost their commerce.

At least our village is growing, from a low point in the mid 70’s of about 580 individuals to 769 in 2014 (the last year for which I can find data), however cartefrances.fr suggests nearly 25% 2nd homes (in 2007, can’t find more recent figures) which seems high, l’internaute says only 30-odd foreigners living in the village which is not too many (about 4%).


(Elisabeth Morgan) #61

Paul, I had a colleague, who lived in a “realy similar” place of yours, who was complaining about the shop which would sale products from LIDL at an expensive price, and who was saying what a pity it was, not to find local product as in Pluherlin mini market. We use to eat in a restaurant “very similar” of the one you’re talking about, but then again, the menu du jour was excelent for 10€, but the owner of the place loves you or hates you. We were lucky, she liked us, but ! The thing is, for the mini market/boulangerie etc… the Mairie should be very carefull of recruiting the right motivated persons, with a solid business plan, because in a small commune like that, if you suit the goal witch I think is a bit of good and local products, you can survive as a shop keeper. If you try to sell LIDL or Super U produce, people will drive to the next big town !


(David Martin) #62

I’m not passionate I’m just reporting the effect that the selfish behaviour of one individual has had on a small rural town near where I live. I also find that his obsession with the Third Reich odd to say the least. I have visited the location with a local French friend. Harry has decided to take a moral high ground by claiming that the poor rich person has done nothing wrong and is being picked on by people who are calling him a Nazi. Harry lives in another world. This is my last response to this thread, I’ve got better things to do than respond to the ramblings of an uninformed person.


(Elisabeth Morgan) #63

Talking about Nazy, we’ve been to a vide grenier today, and I was gobsmacked by the look of a man, his haircut and his moustache, that was just a big bigger than you know … :unamused:
It couldn’t be the man you are talking about ?


(Bill Morgan) #64

On holiday, or looking for a new location ??? :thinking:


(Paul Flinders) #65

Always assuming that you can drive to the next town - the aim seems to have been to support the older population who might not be so mobile, so the mentality is probably that it’s OK to re-sell Lidl or Super U produce. Of course, even then, you can’t sell it for much more and therein lies a problem for sustainability of a business.

Actually I really like Pluherlin and would have loved to have a property there but there wasn’t anything that we liked at the time we were looking (in fact we based ourselves at 6 place des puits a couple of times when looking for properties). I usually pick up breakfast croissants and pains de chocolat from the Pluherlin boulangerie when we are over.

We never actually ate in the Restaurant in the village (I’ll come clean - Le Lion d’Or), mainly because it wasn’t open in the evenings and while there is still DIY to do embracing the French tradition of a large lunch means nothing much would get done for the day (not necessarily a bad thing, you understand :slight_smile: ).

I have, however, recently discovered that it was something of a meeting place for the ex-pats in the village - not that knowing that would have made me more likely to attend.

So, yes I agree that local politics can play a big part but to run a sucessful business requires a client base and the population of Pluherlin is just less than 1500 individuals in 635 foyers - so 50% more households and twice the population of our village.


(Harry Fawcett) #66

no less informed than you.

As I say and I stand by it he is a small part of the bigger problem for rural towns.

Population is decreasing over the past several years in all the communes around it and mortality rate is up and births are down. This is a bigger problem, what the communes need to do is buy up the houses and rent them to younger folks or sell them with conditions they are to live there for a period of years, like many other communes are starting to do further up north.

Not a moral high ground i just think him buying up nazi memorabilia is very off. But it does not make him a nazi, it just in my personal opinion is a bit odd.

Maybe the morality of it is hes bloody loaded and others are not. I have made no such claim than he has done nothing wrong nor have I refereed to him as a poor rich person. Then again maybe that is the biggest issue. Jealousy of his money… He is a problem BUT he is as i will say again and again a small part of a bigger problem.


(Andrea Kirkby) #67

A maire with a vision can really get things going. I know another village that has bought a building and gone out to recruit a baker - our village in Eure-et-Loir has supported the local bar/restaurant (not particularly successfully, I must admit). In the village where I’m restoring a house in Correze, the mairie is the Post office, bank, and a couple of other things besides - that’s with fewer than 200 residents. A village that size in the UK probably wouldn’t have a post office and certainly not a bank. (Of course in Limousin, the fact that only a minority of inhabitants live in the bourg, with far more scattered in hameaux around the commune, rather complicates matters.)


(Harry Fawcett) #68

yup our marie did just that, we now have a florist and a boulanger again. Lots of effort put into the community and things are slowly taking a turn upwards. It helps we have a school so lots of young uns around and affordable housing too.


(carl tunnicliffe) #69

It isnt just the villages that are suffering the loss of shops - Carmaux is a regular sized town but I have noticed that, over the past couple of years, the centre has become desolate because of closed-down shops. Many have been left empty and it really makes the place look run down. It isnt down to a lack of residents. I can only put it down to the fact that there is a fairly large Super U on the edge of town and a smaller Intermarche closer in. Those, plus internet shopping for non-food items. The death of the High Street in France is much the same as that in the UK…


(Harry Fawcett) #70

like most villages and towns. We had a town shop recently get taken over. they used to stock red bull specifically for me on request at a reasonable price. The new shop owners while they stock it now want nearly 3€ a tin and its the small kind. While I want to support a local shop, when they put their prices up (cadbury choc fingers, 2€ 50 a box against just over a euro in supermarkets.) many other things are just way too overpriced. No one will shop there when the prices are so extreme. Luckily for s our mayor is very proactive at filling empty shops although still no takers for the mini supermarket and our local cafe closed but now the bakers has a small coffee shop but machin coffee.


(David Martin) #71

Our small town always surprises me by continuing to have town centre bakeries, a charcuterie, two butchers, a pharmacist, an electrical shop and others despite having a good Super U and Intermarché on the outskirts plus a Lidl and a Leader Price as well as two markets a week. There is obviously a strong demand for the small specialist shops, it’s not all about the lowest price.
I’ve been looking for someone like you Harry; last September I was given some promotional cans of Red Bull when I took part in a car rally. I’ve been trying to give them away ever since. I hate the stuff and not even my children would take it off my hands.


(Harry Fawcett) #72

strangly enough I have not had a red bull or other energy drink in nearly 3 months. On top of the 20+ mugs off coffee I had a day it was a tad too much. Im now on 10 mugs a day but plan to get that lower still.

We have a hairdressers, butchers, bakers with coffee, florists. Only 1 market a week but its very small market and the shop. Unfortunately while people will try to use the shop in times like they are people cannot afford to pay 3 times the price for goods. If she sorted her prices out then allot more people would shop there.