For many, Glastonbury is a place where a rather large festival takes place every June. The Glastonbury Festival actually takes place 7 miles away from the town of Glastonbury in the village of Pilton.
While the festival does get around 200,000 people over the weekend, Glastonbury town attracts more than 750,000 visitors throughout the year. These visitors support a thriving High Street full of charming Independent shops, restaurants, pubs and cafes.
With no chain stores, other than Boots, it is individual in every way. The shops themselves are a tourist attraction, crystals, magic wands, lotions, potions, you name it you can probably find it on Glastonbury High Street.
There are no shopping malls here, closest is the shopping Arcade called the Glastonbury Experience which is home to Starchild with their amazing incense and herbs, Stone Age which is full of anything to do with crystals, oh and the Goddess temple on the upper level.
There are bookshops like Speaking Tree, Gothic Image and Labyrinth Books. I promise there are books in these shops on subjects you never even realised existed. I can spend hours browsing through the shelves of these bookshops.
Fragrant Earth is a Glastonbury-based company that has been making Natural Fragrances for large brands for dozens of years. They now have a shop where you can make your own fragrance or purchase one of the Lady of the Lake range.
Little Imps is a great little toy shop with the most impressive wooden toys. Minerva Beads at the top of the High Street make incredible jewelry and offer workshops.
Hemp in Avalon, on the market square, is owned by Mr Free Rob Cannabis(he changed his name by deed poll). The shop no longer sells smoking paraphernalia but has a large selection of hemp based products and medicinal oils. The story goes that in 2011 Cannabis was planted by someone in the Glastonbury hanging baskets for the Britain in Bloom competition.
For food, there is Earthfare, a Health Food Store like no other, based in the old Woolworths store it is a mecca of healthy vegetarian foods and products. Stephens the Butchers, on the market square, stocks great local meat and game, even squirrel for those looking for interesting meats to cook with.
Sew over the Moon, is a haberdashery shop full of all sorts of magical materials. The only haberdashery shop I know of that you can probably go into and ask for a set of fairy wings for your Glastonbury Faery Ball outfit.
All the businesses use, correction used to use one of the 4 banks on the High Street. But 4 banks has now become 2 and the last 2 are due to close by April 2016. Glastonbury business owners will have to do their banking elsewhere. Painful for most but the biggest worry is that there will be nowhere for the visitors to the town to get out cash to spend in the area.
I am not a lover of banks but they are a necessary part of towns and villages across the UK. Unfortunately, the big cats in their corporate offices have forgotten what banks are really for. They are not just to generate huge profits for shareholders in the city but to provide financial service to communities and to help Local Businesses.
Poor old UK High Streets around the country have been beaten and bashed for years. Now with banks closing down around them, how much more can small business owners take?
If you, like me, love everything about Independent businesses and Shopping Local; please sign our petition below. We are trying hard to keep at least one bank in Glastonbury.
And if you would like to help us stand up for our lovely Independent High Street then come on along to Glastonbury Market Square on the 9th of January to join our flash mob protest against the bank closures.