West Calder is not a big place. You can walk the length of it in about three minutes. Which is exactly what I did recently. And by the time I reached the far end of the street I was struck by the fact that it’s a place obsessed by food.
Whatever you want in the way of grub you can get easily and quickly in the small town main street. And I don’t just mean groceries. I’m talking about takeaway outlets, restaurants, cafes, and pubs that serve full meals and snacks.
I was so astonished by the overwhelming number of food outlets that I walked back the way I had come and started counting. In the main Street, there are 24 shops, including florists and an ironmonger. There’s one bank and one Post Office.
But from the moment you enter the main street, there is a restaurant that serves full meals, and a pub that serves snacks. A little way on you’ll come across a chippy and a row of restaurants including Italian, Chinese and Indian – you can step straight from one to the other without getting wet on a rainy evening.
A little further on there’s another pub that can provide lunches, suppers and snacks. Then there are two cafes, one directly across the road from the other, before you reach another Chinese takeaway and an outlet that does everything from pizza to burgers and kebabs.
Within burger-throwing distance there’s another pub that supplies meals. And if you leave the town by train, you’ll find another Chinese restaurant at the station.
Wow! For the mathematicians amongst you, that’s over 50% of the outlets providing food in one form or another. And that’s not including a couple of pubs that don’t advertise the fact they offer food… but I bet they do. Oh, and a couple of the retail outlets sell sandwiches, but we won’t include them.
Surely, this has to be some sort of record? One short main street, in a small town, and you can buy meals, snacks and takeaway from more than half of them.
Right, I’m off for something to eat.