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South End Green traders fight to preserve unique character

PUBLISHED: 13:03 22 May 2008 | UPDATED: 15:06 07 September 2010

TRADERS in South End Green have started a new drive to get visitors and shoppers exploring the area they call the village on the Heath . New stickers have gone up in shop windows thanking customers for choosing to shop locally and a series of events and

TRADERS in South End Green have started a new drive to get visitors and shoppers exploring the area they call the "village on the Heath".

New stickers have gone up in shop windows thanking customers for choosing to shop locally and a series of events and promotions will try to entice more people.

The new drive is the brainchild of the South End Green Traders' Association. Secretary Russell Oppenheimer, owner of the Blue Daisy children clothing shop, said: "South End Green has a special atmosphere. There is incredible rapport between traders and customers here which is unmatched anywhere in London.

"We want to celebrate that and preserve it. We also want to encourage more people to come to the area to eat, drink and shop.

"This village community is lucky to have a thriving High Street with many independent shops and local restaurants. Hampstead Village used to be the same but now it is all designer stores and mobile phone shops.

"We want to make sure South End Green does not go the same way but we need the support of people in and around the area to achieve that."

Events which have been planned include a jazz band entertaining shoppers over the summer and a week of discounts in September for shops and restaurants.

Alex Hughes, who runs the White Horse pub, said: "Everyone who lives around here enjoys it. We have the same people coming in three or four times a week. It makes sense that we all work together.

"What is special about South End Green is we are all independent specialist shops - small businessmen with small businesses - that is unusual for anywhere."

And estate agent Jonathan Bergman said: "It's all about improving the shopping experience for people who come here and the street appearance. This is a friendly atmosphere - people who come always end up coming back. Everyone chats and says 'hello', and we want to build that community spirit."

The new drive has been coupled with a revamp of the association with several other types of business signing up including a nearby GP.

Dr Chhaganbhai Mistry, owner of House of Mistry, said: "Many people come here and enjoy themselves after picnicking on the heath or going for a swim - there is a great atmosphere. We want to encourage more people to come here but also to build community spirit between residents and people who work here."

Anyone with ideas on how to improve facilities for shoppers at South End Green can email segta@blueyonder.co.uk.


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