A LOT of local shopkeepers as they finally close down, blame the internet for their problems. I would like to suggest that in some cases they have only themselves to blame.

Recently my daughter, who lives abroad, asked me if I could get her Barbour waxed jacket, rewaxed and a small tear repaired. I started by going to the shop where she bought the jacket. There was a obvious lack of enthusiasm. ‘We used to take care of it but now Barbour will only do it on line’. I tried two other shops in Salisbury which sold Barbour jackets. With variations they gave the same reply.

I nearly believed them but by chance I had to go to Stockbridge. I put the jacket in the back of my car and tried a Barbour dealer there. He inspected the jacket, confirmed the repair and the rewaxing could be managed and a few weeks later the jacket arrived from Barbour at my home address.

I went back to the shop where my daughter had bought the jacket and suggested that they had not been exactly truthful. They were uninterested. ‘Well we used to do it but it was complicated and so we stopped doing it.’

When their shop closes for the last time and the owner blames the internet I am sure the Stockbridge shop will still be there.

A.J. Caston