It costs nothing

English: Hesketh Arms Pub, Botanic Road, Churc...
English: Hesketh Arms Pub, Botanic Road, Churchtown, Southport, Merseyside, England. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Tuesday afternoon we drove to a restaurant a little over three miles from home in the village of Churchtown, now a suburb I suppose of Southport. This once tiny village housed many folk who worked as ‘cocklers’, that is folk who trawl the coast for shrimps and cockles, an industry still alive and thriving today. Many of the old cottages survive but have been surrounded by more modern buildings built from Victorian times until today. As we drove through to our destination and again homeward afterward I couldn’t help but imagine what the area must have looked like say three hundred years ago. I imagined there were no major roads cutting through with only the cottages dotted here and there in what was then the countryside. The venue was ‘The Hesketh Arms’, one of two restaurant/pubs sited close together, the other one being ‘The Bold’. The food is equally fine in both but the Hesketh is a little bit up-market if you like. We frequent them both depending on how we feel. As we parked the vehicle I noticed several young people examining and admiring no doubt the old church which stands close by. They seemed to me to be foreign students but I wasn’t sure. We have many foreign students and indeed many foreigners visiting Southport and its environs every year. We went inside the restaurant and E chose a table in the far corner of one of the rooms which overlooked the parking area and main entrance. The other pub can be seen through the windows as well as the village green and the quaint semi-pedestrianised shopping area in front of the other pub. I suppose this spot could be considered the centre of Churchtown itself, at least the old part of it anyway. It was unusually quiet and empty inside though there were a few diners. During our meal a small party of people came inside and sat in the adjacent room through which we had to pass to get where we were sitting. E mentioned something about people in the group speaking what she thought was the French language. So I had been correct in thinking there were foreigners out and about in the area. Evidently they had come inside for a meal too. As we left we had to pass through their midst and we could hear them all speaking in their native tongue. There is but a small narrow space to pass between the rooms and a young man seemingly oblivious to everything around him was seated with his feet firmly in the passageway partly blocking our exit. He was engrossed in something to do with his phone, maybe a game and made no effort to move his feet when E made her presence known. Now most people I have met would apologise for blocking the way as he was doing and move accordingly but this young man appeared put out that he should be disturbed. He eventually and grudgingly shuffled his legs out of the way without looking up or making any effort to apologise. It costs nothing to apologise but it seems not everyone agrees. I have found other incidences such as this with many of our European neighbours. There seems to be a lack of consideration for others especially with their youth.

Shirley Anne

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