Yet another store closes in this dying town. Over the last few years, shop after shop has shut down as the high streets have become a hinterland. A place where life begins and ends. Children have no future and move away to university or work, rarely returning if they have ambition. The old find a sanctuary near the sea, awaiting nature’s destiny. In the middle years, though, dreams are stolen. Fast food, charity shops, and mobile phones are the limited lifeblood of a once-thriving community. Take away the landscape, and what is left are the decent surviving amongst the bigots and empathy-free drones that wander like the walking dead across the winter months.

This may seem harsh, but talk to people locally, and many will share this ambivalence. Yes, there are some beautiful people, but there are also some real shockers. These feelings are further reinforced when your job is about to be ripped from beneath you. An ever-reoccurring phenomenon. The next in line is Currys at Jubilee Retail Park, near the train and bus stations. The only electrical store left in the town is about to disappear. Many have speculated online, but we can tell you the real reason. Us! You and me!

The reason everyone in that store will lose their job is down to us. We don’t want them. We can rarely afford them. Talk to the people who work there, and they will tell you. People come in sometimes. Most of the time, though, they check the product and walk out. They go home and order it online for less. Many others do not even bother to look around. They just click and spend instead. We can blame rents. We can blame the economic crisis. We can blame whoever or whatever we like. But the real reason is the economic and cultural shift away from localised shopping to shipping in from other regions, countries, or continents.

Many of the staff at Currys are from Portland. Relocation to Dorchester, Poole, or beyond is not realistic. To travel to Dorchester would mean doubling the journey, and that is only if job opportunities exist. Those with specialised IT skills will have to move away or try to find something not in their skill set.

On March 1st, the store will close. The boxed products will be transported out by lorry.

This is what we want. Our behaviour has changed, and with it come consequences. We could have helped build a thriving community. We chose, however, to click and keep clicking.

Penny Lane

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