The town has come full circle from last year, (when things were looking dire), with nearly a score of new retail businesses taking off. These include the usual antique, eatery, fashion and hobbiest premises. The old ones mostly closed due to other reasons than footfall, or have amalgamated or moved to bigger premises. With many towns suffering, and several needing grants and Portas money to try and rejuvinate them, Horncastle has something of a Formula going on. Whether it's being based on a coast road; whether it's the character of the buildings and easy layout of the Town (N,S,E,W); whether it's the uptick of the economy generally and the growing holiday cottage economy of the Wolds, or whether it's just the Weather...
Computer Repairs! closed
This PC equipment shop since moved to Sleaford, and still accepting repairs thru the Cobbler on the market. Carrying stock from major High St names at the same price, even when EE & 3UK were 'Out of Stock'. A little gem in this day & age of computer sharks.
Wifi, Bagels and good coffee an attraction now on North St., with Jof's American Style coffee shop opening in time for the festivals and Independence Day. Milk Shakes and juices available if summer comes.
Still available from the Recycle&Ride shop that moved East Kirkby way. A newly painted van for Free pick-up and delivery, it's also possible to nip round to their warehouse to see the latest stock.
The Bull Hotel stage coach stabling providing the latest premises for large country antique furniture, down to delicate jewellery. Dealer stands and a warm welcome from the owner who's expanded from being a renter himself at Horncastle Antiques on West St., an eye for the odd medieval and Jacobean quality.
Tearoom & Antiquarian
The old Good4Books moving to West St, leaving an antiquarian cafe in it's place. A warm snack and drink can be had, inbetween browsing for antiques and bric-a-brac. The menu set to expand, with a soup of the day already, baked potatoes and other wholesome items being introduced as Spring approaches. The accent on affordable rather than 'tea-room' or 'coffee-shop' ennui.
Boutique North St.
Grace's handbags and accessories expanding a little and doing brisque trade as the weather closes in for the winter. Already a Sale and new stock for the Spring, and dare we say Summer... A few more clothing items and jewellery, with a weekly co-ordinated window display of the latest Continental fashions and colours.
West St. Books
Good4books moving their successful North St shop to the other side of town to a building with alot of potential (nooks and river views and office space etc..). Busy online sales convincing the owner that West St would be just as advantageous as being opposite the Hotel on North St. Familiar sections and quality tomes that were it's stock-in-trade at North St.
Milkbar Bridge St.
A wonderful little milkshake and smoothie refreshment option at the end of Bridge St., opened by the guy who pioneered the successful Thai restaurant around the corner. Here's hoping for a hot summer to go with it.
Antiquarian West St
A vintage curio shop again next door to the old Good4books on West St. Clothing and furniture, couture and curiosities, reminiscent of the old Bijou that traded on North St., it has an air of helpfullness similar to the previous keeper Mrs Goodchild still being in the premises...
High St. Clothing
Jobow took the place of the Tally Ho, and previously Essential Collection, supplying more of a choice for goodies for ladies in the town. Searching for a web link turned up mentions on quality independent suppliers sites. Although the smallest shop in the town, it looks heavily stocked. Has now morphed into 'The Catwalk'.
A new teahouse! Deli! Wifi point! Warm Log stoves! Local Produce. Sorted! Opened by a Master Mariner after piracy convinced him life in Horncastle might be safer!
The old Angel Inn on North St morphing into a tiled Italian eatery, with good reviews. Possibly a success waiting to happen, with new build to the North, and a tradition of Italian in the town prior to Shakesby's on West St. It thrived as a pub in the '90's with darts, pool & dominoes teams.
Two shops expanded again to accomodate antiques after the fishing people moved.
Horncastle has some relief from national supermarkets with a retail outlet opposite the Boston Road Industrial Estate supplying cheap and cheerful goods. With a popular long-time shop at Spilsby, it's liable to recieve good footfall from Horncastrians tired of travelling.
On the market, more patients being drawn for a day out in the town, instead of travelling to a city for treatment, which can be daunting for mothers and kids or the elderly. The green & yellow signage in keeping with a rural setting, several opticians, dentists, beauty-care and other health professionals can now be found around the town.
New for 2014, the barbers settling in seamlessly next to the HSBC, and giving Phillip's in the Bullring a run for his money. OAP specials, and good general trim prices getting my repeat custom. The shop a sister to one in Skegness, and neatly kitted out with modern equipment and girls.
The teddy bear shop quickly replaced by a little antiquity which move to a share at the Old Coach House, behind The Bull Hotel, leaving JACs Amazing Creations. The Fleece arcade finished in modern block paving and evocative of more upmarket areas in larger towns & cities. With dealer cabinets to rent it should attract a decent market.
Houldens newsagents retiring - now alot less cramped. Given over to antique furniture & ornaments. New lines being trialled and added, a small section of buy/swap game dvd's proving popular, and the cellar may yet become a recreational area of some sort.
Another shop for the Horncastle ladies, the signs going up at the start of September...with party season approaching (bonfire night, halloween, xmas, Valentines)... it could be a decent start to the new dress hire venture.
Peacocks Clothing sneaking in to share the Co-Op in the center of town. Probably not what the town needed. A low priced Lidl or etc.. will yet probably occupy the store before too long as changing footfall perhaps seems beyond the Co-Operative's fiscal abilities.