"Melksham should be like this" said Lisa as we walked around another Wiltshire town, somewhat smaller that ours, this lunchtime - and indeed she's right.
A waterway passes through (both) towns, and it could be so active - you see canoes, walkers, cyclists and boaters all making use of the water corridor through the town, and all bringing welcome business in too. The Wilts and Berks Canal Trust
is working hard on bringing this to pass and indeed there IS hope - the section you see here was closed for around 40 years, and re-opened only in the last decade.
The River and hsitoric bridge in Melksham should be a huge asset to the town, and somehow they can disguise the factory with boarded up windows you see in the background here.
Melksham has a wide range of historic buildings - in around 1800 it was the largest urban area for a LONG way around and much remains from before or around that time. But it does need local inspiration to help this along and organisations such as Melksham 1st
(of which we are members) are working on this.
We know that Melksham has been christened the "Takeaway Capital of Wiltshire" and so it is - and we have excelling Indian and Chinese restaurants in the town, cafes, and pubs that offer meals too. But we need to attract visitors with - say - Thai, Italian and a Tapas Bar (this picture was taken in a Tapas bar) and a quality restaurant where you don't have to book. It can be done - it has been done in my comparison town.
A good transport infrastructure, with an appropriate level of services again will bring in the business and subsidies given will be recouped by the county council via the extra wealth generated in the town. The Melksham Railway Development Group
is key to the local (Melksham) campaign, and in the last three years the case for an appropriate service has been recognised, and has moved from a "no hoper" to something that will more than likely come about in a year or two (though politics being what they are, we may have to wait for a change in government and/or key players at County Hall)
The question has to be asked - "would we need more hotel rooms?" Maybe - but I wouldn't anticipate a need for many more central rooms, and new B&Bs spring up all the time - for example Sandridge Tower
at Bromham, who's owners have written to me in the last few days. Our own Well House Manor
is too small to make any appreciable impact on it own, but who knows - we could help by adding a few more rooms.
Am I being unfair in my comparison here? Have I chosen a bigger and better resourced town to compare Melksham to?
No, I've chosen a town that's about a half of our size - so we should be able to achieve twice as much. But, yes, I have chosen a town that's got better resources - in the most part because they worked hard for them as we should be doing!
If you're not "in the know", my comparison is against Bradford-on-Avon, just six short miles up the road from us. (written 2008-07-27, updated 2008-07-30)
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articlesG100 - Well House Consultants - Introduction to Melksham 
Free parking for short errands in Melksham - (2005-04-05) 
Why are we no. 404 - (2005-04-25) 
More maps - (2005-05-23) 
An occasional chance, and reducing data to manageable levels - (2005-12-04) 
Melksham, Wiltshire - (2006-04-08) 
Image maps for navigation - a straightforward example - (2006-08-28) 
A lazy programmer is a good programmer - (2006-09-15) 
Moving to Melksham? Househunting map. - (2007-09-09) 
Great to be in Melksham - (2009-08-08) 
Ten years in Melksham - looking forward to ten more. - (2009-08-11) 
A walk within without - Melksham Without - (2010-04-02) 
Around and about Melksham in more pictures - (2011-04-05) 
Repost - some useful pages on our site - (2011-07-04) 
Melksham government and business organisations - (2012-04-14) 
River nearly bursting its banks in Melksham - (2012-11-23)
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