Comment: HMV sadness

First published in Opinion The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by

MOST people over 30 years of age will feel a tinge of sadness this week to learn that the oldest and last-remaining dedicated independent music shop in the Lake District is to close.

David Snaith, who runs Action Replay at Bowness, recognising CDs are declining in popularity and more people are buying their music online, has decided that his approaching 65th birthday is a fitting time to stop.

He made his announcement in the same week as music giant HMV went into administration.

Buying music online is swift, often cheaper and allows people to pick and choose the music they want. But many people still miss the fun of visiting a record shop and browsing through the racks, possibly being inspired to buy an old favourite or try out a new band.

A traditional album - vinyl or CD - also allowed the buyer to scour the sleeve for information about the band and there was something intrinsically satisfying about actually possessing a physical copy of the album.

But times change, things move on and fewer and fewer young people now actually buy CDs in shops - which is why so many of them have closed.

However, changing technology brings new opportunites and this week’s Gazette highlights some great local business success stories.

Absolute Digital Print, for example, has created a stunning 12 x 5 metre print for North Face as part of that company’s sponsorship of Scotland’s National Outdoor Training Centre, using a piece of equipment worth £100,000.

And Kendal graphic designer Ben Dodgson has designed a stylish logo to be used on branded products by sprinting legend Usain Bolt.

Meanwhile, less hi-tech but still impressive, Orton slating firm LK Venning Slaters has been commissioned to roof iconic buildings on the Coronation Street set.

Next month, local food and drink businesses will be exhibiting their wares at the Houses of Parliament, trying to prove to decision-makers that there is more to Cumbria than just great scenery.

That is certainly true - while technology and times may change, the people who live and work in the county continue to prove that they are creative, innovative and full of entrepreneurial spirit.

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