Like many people I shop a lot on-line. It is quick and it is convenient and there is plenty of choice. As such I rarely go to my local town, Newcastle under Lyme. I have lived there for much of my life and it was the place to go to buy. Nowadays, I will go for a restaurant or a pub of an evening and not really pay attention to what is happening to anything else.
So, I was surprised when I went recently to see several changes. One of which was ‘Cultural Squatters’. This used to be a shop that sold expensive electrical equipment: televisions, music, video and so on. Now it is run by a community interest company as café. It has mismatched tables and chairs, some sofas and provides food with vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options, cooked on the premises. Mrs W had a vegan curry and I had oatcakes with cheese, onion and mushrooms – a favourite of mine. The curry was good and the oatcakes were absolutely the best I have had in a long time. It was a great way to relax with all kinds there (and very good serving staff) with toys for children, free ping pong and pool. Best there was a welcoming dog who did the rounds to say hello.
They have one rule #BeKind and it seems to be a good rule. See there website (http://culturalsquatters.uk/) or better still pop in when you are around the area.