Keep it warm and welcoming

PUBLISHED: 11:09 10 December 2009 | UPDATED: 12:27 10 June 2010

It was with the usual trepidation, that I meandered down into Budleigh High Street on Friday evening, to peruse the Late Night Shopping, or 10 per cent Night , as I have nicknamed it, mainly due to the fact that, you only recognize about 10 per cent of the people there are locals.

It was with the usual trepidation, that I meandered down into Budleigh High Street on Friday evening, to peruse the Late Night Shopping, or "10 per cent Night", as I have nicknamed it, mainly due to the fact that, you only recognize about 10 per cent of the people there as locals. Can someone explain to me, why it is that Budleigh's population suddenly swells with bad mannered, rude, pompous and arrogant people on this particular evening of the year, where a stinking attitude and a lack of good manners seems de rigeur for the "Tarquins and Felicitys", usually towing "tartrazine powered brats" along, sometimes also accompanied by their equally pompous elders.

A wise man once said "Manners maketh man", but in recent years it seems to me that that a vast swathe of the populace, seem to consider themselves "above manners". As an ardent people watcher, I always seem to find that at Late Night Shopping, the people who lack any manners are all of a certain type, they seem to be the ones with the plummy accents, the 4x4s, the brats in Osh Gosh clothing, Joules jackets, or the gap year student types, warming up mater and pater's holiday cottage, ready for the December hols, when they can decamp to Budleigh and count their RBS bonuses in front of a blazing log fire whilst tucking into a Fortnum and Masons Xmas hamper, before wandering down to one of the town's hostelries to barge past the regulars and expect to be treated like royalty, because they have deigned to spend a few pounds on a round of Pimms! - which will then qualify them to expect a Christmas drink from the poor publican struggling to earn a crust.

Whereas the ordinary "old school" Budleigh kids and the people I grew up with, who worked hard for their money and taught their children the value of good manners and behaviour, will enjoy their Christmas shopping, expect "nowt for nowt" have a few beers in the pubs and spend their money as they always do, 52 weeks a year in the town that is their home.

So please, those of you who come to Budleigh, remember that some of us are here all year round, the people in the shops and serving in the pubs are hard working friendly people, worth a please and thank-you. The man standing in front of you at the bar will respond to an "excuse me could I get past please" and will acquiesce, with a smile. So extend the courtesy of good manners and a friendly attitude to all you meet and you will have it returned in full! Budleigh has always been a friendly place with a wealth of characters and a warm inviting atmosphere: so let's try to keep it that way shall we?

Mr I R Woolger

16 Otter Court

Budleigh Salterton

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