From time to time this blog overbogls with something akin to emotion and pays tribute where it is due. This is one of those times.
Three days ago, I ventured to suggest that the Rheidol Valley narrow-gauge steam railway which passes close to my home was unlikely to run again this year, as a section of embankment beneath the rails had been washed away by floodwaters. Just now, while out walking the dog in the exurban development zone that passes for our local park, we saw an ill-advisedly lilac-coloured track maintenance vehicle trundling away up the line. To my amazement, when we reached the scene of the washout, the embankment had been rebanked, the rails relaid – normal service restored.
Compare this heroic determination by a little private railway company not to be beaten by ill-luck, with the utterly pathetic response of the miserable B&Q, a nationally-resourced behemoth that opened a DIY store here in the retail park on 1st June and closed under a few inches of water a week later. Rumour has it that they ‘might’ be open again in ‘a couple of weeks or a month, they don’t know, it’s up to the loss adjusters’.
Since the Focus group went bust selling overpriced, underperforming (yet nevertheless need-filling) crap, the people of Aberystwyth have waited 18 months for another DIY store that would open on a Sunday afternoon, and now this dismal effort. If I were the CEO of B&Q and this was the best I could manage, I would quietly shut the door of the office and eat my revolver.