When I was a child my parents took my brothers and I down to the town of Ayr every Christmas Eve to do our Christmas shopping. Armed with a ten pound note we would go shop to shop finding what we thought would best please our grandparents and our folks. Coming home we would have a bag full of goodies to wrap up and put under the tree, and, thanks to a push-over dad, more money than we had gone out with. Childhood economics was fun. That was in the 80s, and I remember Ayr being teeming with people; so many, in fact, that I would often get lost – separated from my mum and dad – and screaming my lungs out. In the 80s parents didn’t get so worried about their children getting lost in crowds. Things have changed since then.

This year I found myself back in Ayr and it has changed too. There were people out doing their Christmas shopping, but there were not the crowds that I remembered. Lots more people do their last-minute shopping in Glasgow, and the bulk of their in-time shopping online. So in Ayr the streets were quiet and a good few of the shops were all closed up. It isn’t what it used to be, but then what is? Everything is changing, but it is still sad to see the passing of the old town centres.


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