End of The Hols – Not!

Normally the summer hols finish the first week in September and then selling on the bridge goes on as normal. Not so this year – for the last three weeks, people have been telling me that they can’t afford a Big Issue until they get to the end of the month and their payday. Numerous excuses have been cited: I spent too much on my holiday/my kids new uniforms cost me a fortune/I’m just broke at the moment etc. This is definitely a new phenomenon this year and it has basically made the summer hols last 9 weeks instead of 6. I can tell you now, 9 weeks of low sales does wonders for slimming your waistline and your wallet. So are people less well-off than last year or, as an article noted recently, have people actually had enough of austerity and so blew a bigger-than-normal wad on their vacation? I think from hearing about my regulars’ holidays that it was a bit of both! Now the paydays have almost come and gone, I am hoping my sales get back to normal.

Oh, and just to let you know, in a few weeks I am going for an interview at the Big Issue. They want a vendor to write a weekly column about selling the mag, for the website. Wish me luck! I will know when the interview is in a few weeks time – they move at clockwork speed you know!

The End of the Hols!

So the summer hols are over at last – everyone back where they should be walking across the bridge. The Bank Holiday week was particularly painful because they closed most of the station leaving only six platforms in use. This cut foot traffic at my pitch from 48,000 to less than 10,000. I scraped through the four day week on my knees, and despite the closure having been advertised for a year, people were still commenting on how few commuters were about and wondering if perhaps everyone was on holiday! Eventually I got tired of telling them that, in fact, most of the station was shut due to the redevelopment and started agreeing with them. Now that normality has arrived again, I can look forward to the cold, dark days of winter that always seem to last forever. Time to get the thermals out I think!