Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Do it yourself....

B&Q is closing down. It's official. The huge advertising van parked outside Mr. Books as I type gives this away. "Everything must go!" That chilling phrase which means we must all rush down there for those massive bargains. I don't know: a drill with an old style battery for a tenner? A split open bag of nails for 3 pence? Some plastic stacking for the garage storage you've put off for the last seven years? The possibilities are endless! Does any one actually have the time for DIY any more? I tend to call a handy man these days otherwise I just never get around to it. Mind you have you tried pinning down a tradesman (not literally you understand) these days? You'd almost be better off, well, doing it yourself!

11 comments:

Paul Bailey said...

Some of us still engage in DIY projects, TB. I for one will be very sad to see B&Q close. Having to drive over to North Farm, every time I run out of screws/nails/paint – you name it, is not something I am looking forward to.

Shouldn’t Tonbridge Mirror be asking some serious questions as to why this store is closing, rather than trying to make light of it?

Anonymous said...

Yes where am I going to get fork handles?
I recently tried Screwfix and also used Alsfords for some fencing at a very good price and free delivery. If you look around there are quite a few other useful shops for the DIYers. You have to plan in advance but I have used Ebay for screws and other hardware. After looking at the sheds for a kitchen I also bought one on line cheaper with real wood doors, a better choice of unit sizes, matching colour units and all preassembled.
Its just the gardening section that I will miss.

Anonymous said...

Hadlow College is much better than B&Q for plants and also sells tools and other gardening equipment. A bit of a drive, but worth it.

Paul Bailey said...

Screwfix is pretty good, but not for things like paint, wood, building materials etc. Alsfords are obviously OK for timber, but I’ve never bought anything off of EBay, and no intention of doing so. Ebay sellers are the bane of anyone who uses the Post Office; holding up the queue whilst they post off their umpteen parcels of second-hand, unwanted tat!

Tonbridge blogger said...

You forgot Travis Perkins and Brewers and even Robert Dyas btw. I personally like the good old fashioned hardware stores like the one in Paddock Wood and Carrs in Southborough. Proper service and right in the town centre. Maybe someone with a bit of entrepreneurial flare will start one up in Tonbridge. I don't mind DIY but I'd rather DIW (that's Do It Well!)

Tonbridge blogger said...

I'll have to check out Hadlow College shop I never realised that...

Tonbridge blogger said...

I'm not really making light of it PB. It's been rumoured for ages that B&Q is closing. As I understand it it will be redeveloped to residential. Yet more cars and flats I hear some of you sigh. The good news is that Halfords are staying and enhancing the bike hut part of the store. M&S Food is opening up in the unused bit to the left of Halfords which should be great for picking up the odd posh pasta ready meal or two and, I should think, very handy if you live in one of the nearby river side houses. Wherever there are people with money to spend, the shops, and restaurants will follow. Overall I'd say that this is mostly positive news for the town. Maybe we're becoming a bit of a boom town!

Paul Bailey said...

I’m pleased to learn TB that Halfords are staying open, as I assumed the whole site would be redeveloped. I suspected there was a property deal involved in the closure somewhere along the line, and whilst I realise that many DIY items can still be obtained locally, they won’t all be available under one roof.

I’m glad you mentioned Robert Dyas, as my son works for the company; albeit in their Sevenoaks store. I agree that Tonbridge is on the up, but we do need more independent shops to go with all the new caf├ęs, restaurants and fancy bakers which are opening in the town.

A final word on B&Q. That site has bitter-sweet memories for my wife and I, as back in the late 1970’s- early 80’s, we both worked at Portacel, whose factory occupied the area where the B&Q store currently stands. The company employed around 50 people, and were a successful engineering company, based in the water-treatment business.

It is rather ironic that Portacel’s parent group sold the major share of the business off to a competitor, and then pocketed the money realised from the sale of the site. Doubly ironic considering another load of people will be now be losing their jobs and that their business premises will now also be demolished.

Brett said...

tend to use screwfix for DIY 'stuff' - aren't they owned by same company as B&Q anyway? Brewers is much better for decorating stuff and then there is Aylesford Timber for wood, omnico for plastics, QVS for electrical stuff and travis perkins for building bits. Obviously, not all under one roof, but you get a lot better knowledge and service using the smaller stores...

Agree about the slight upturn in the highstreet - getting a nice variety of cafes and eateries now and some decent, independent gift shops. Now just need to get rid of the eye sore that is Angel Centre, Beales, Sainsburys - if only the council had plans for this... ;-)

Anonymous said...

The council cant do much about the look of Sainsburys as they have a very long lease. At the time of the proposed redevelopment in 2013/14 Sainsburys also offered millions to Beales for their lease although in view of the scheme being scrapped that purchase may not have been completed. And despite the council claiming in support of the 2013/14 redevelopment that the Angel Centre was not fit for purpose I doubt whether they have any cash to do anything about it. The council had no plan B at the time and just like the planners at Sainsbury did not see the change in shoppers habits that have been taking place in recent times. Sainsburys and others are looking to shrink down their food space and use the space for other in store use. thats why Sainsburys are keen to get their hand on Argos. But the down side is the more of these in store units that are established means falling demand on the High Street.

Paul Bailey said...

According to the latest reports, Wickes are planning to take over the Tonbridge B&Q Store, which is good news for the town’s DIY-ers. The reports also indicate that it is the B&Q outlet at North Farm which is losing money, and not Tonbridge. Our local store was profitable, but with the sort of idiotic thinking which only large corporations can come up with, the top brass at B&Q reasoned that closing Tonbridge will drive (literally), customers to their unprofitable North Farm outlet.

If these reports are true, then you literally couldn’t make it up. What a way to run a business/country!