AA Grundi: What does Marks & Spencer’s sad exit say about Worksop?

NWGU - GV of M&S Foodhall in the Priory Centre, Worksop.

PHOTOGRAPHER: MARK FEAR - MARK FEAR PHOTOGRAPHY.  CONTACT markfearphotographer@outlook.com (+44) 753 977 3354
NWGU - GV of M&S Foodhall in the Priory Centre, Worksop. PHOTOGRAPHER: MARK FEAR - MARK FEAR PHOTOGRAPHY. CONTACT markfearphotographer@outlook.com (+44) 753 977 3354

One week in the Guardian we discover Burger King is opening a drive-thru in Worksop.

The very next week we find out Marks & Spencer is quitting the town centre to move to, of all places, Retford. Beyond the initial shock of where on earth I was going to get my beef wellingtons from in future, it left me thinking what all this says about Worksop.

Fast food outlets, it appears, are falling over themselves to open branches around here. They may as well put a giant burger and chips on those “Welcome to the Gateway to the Dukeries” signs. But good old M&S, that beacon of good food and excellent taste in an uncertain world, can’t wait to get out.

The good people at Burger King only opened their town centre restaurant in Worksop last year, but already they’re back, hoping to add to our town’s well-documented lard issues.

And who can blame them? I don’t think I’ve been past Burger King in the Priory Centre without seeing dozens of sallow individuals queueing up for their next greasy fix. But at least the town centre branch encouraged people to come into town and spend a few quid – as well as, God forbid, walk around a bit and get some rare exercise.

In future, they will just have to get their backsides in their cars and head to the drive-thru. The car park at Gateford Road Tesco is an unlikely Mecca, but it is set to become a pilgrimage for Worksop’s obese army.

It certainly seems like the healthy nutritional offerings in M&S aren’t pulling in sufficient numbers any more. Maybe M&S will start opening drive-thrus one day – and come to think of it, the Bentley would fit in just perfectly at one of those.