I was sorry to see several closed down premises this week in one of my favourite Thames-side towns. Given the preponderance of large 4x4s and other expensive cars in the High Street these two examples stuck out particularly in their own different ways.
Two weeks ago the British Retail Consortium said 12pc of all town centre shops are now vacant - three times more than last autumn. It warned that many of these communities are close to a "tipping point" from which they will never return as viable commercial centres. Another famous riverside town now has 25 empty shops, double the number last year.
It's easy to be complacent, but you have to wonder how Bury would be faring now if it weren't for the arc shopping centre.