Once again there seems to be a good deal of churn amongst Blackheath’s retail space.  Of course change is inevitable and the village has seen plenty of it recently, as we’ve documented, and coped perfectly well.  But the start of 2015 has heralded some changes that even your deeply unsentimental Radicals regard as being rather sad.

First off, Coquilage – the fishmongers – is no more.  To be replaced by a hairdressers (‘Aiko’).

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Real shame this – it was so nice having Coquilage on the doorstep and really added to the ‘village’ feel of the place.  Clearly not enough people felt so, or perhaps they did but just didn’t buy enough fish, and so it’s gone.  That’s supply and demand for you folks.

Across the road to Fenners, the fruit and veg store.  Now this really was a village stalwart with a big selection of produce and friendly/helpful staff.  But, as of 30th January, it’s closed.

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In the meantime, if you need some scales or a cash register get over there!










The good news is that apparently the space is to remain a green grocers, just under different ownership.

Finally, a few doors down, and Spirited Wines (previously a Nicholas’s), is already gone and looks as though it’s well on the way to being converted/refurbished.  There’s still Oddbins across the road (phew!) but what will become of this space?

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Perhaps it’s just a refresh an Spirited will be back soon.  Seems to be the time of year for a cheeky facelift.  Right now though it’s time for a sit down.



Though probably not our favourite village pub, we Radicals are quite fond of the Princess of Wales.  In the summer especially it’s a very pleasant option for a pint or two of a Friday evening.  And the beer garden to the rear is probably the best around.

The Princess is currently being refurbished and due to re-open in early February.  Which, as it happens, coincides with the end of one Radical’s self-imposed, and much derided, ‘dryannuary’.  So, roll on February!

For those who haven’t seen it, the Design and Access Statement associated with the (two) planning application(s) for the refurbishment gives a good indication of what will change.  From a quick glance it looks like  a pretty straight forward sprucing-up of the place on the inside and a face-lift on the outside (with the main exterior colour changing from a pale blue to “Farrow and Ball ‘Yellow Ground'”).

One thing that did stand out was the design of the new sign for the heath.  Though not to everyone’s taste the current sign and its rather wonky post is quite jaunty.  The proposed sign not only has an annoying mix of RAndOm UPPER and lower cASE lettering but also a disturbingly straight post.

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(c) PembrookDesign: http://www.pembrook.co.uk


Perhaps it’s the lack of booze, but surely having a wonky sign post is a far better demonstration of ‘quirkiness’ than inexplicable lettering?  Oh yes, this stuff matters….