South West agent Rosie Trow has many talents that have not gone unnoticed by her retail customers and the companies whose product ranges she carries – but ‘passionate political campaigner’ is unlikely to have made it onto the list, until now!
“I can’t help feeling that some of you should get among your constituencies a lot more frequently than you do. And spend time among the common people and start living in the real world!” was among the correspondence Rose has written of late to MPs and minister, taking issue on behalf of retailers and companies producing diaries and calendars that will be affected by the Government’s late notice of its decision to move the early May bank holiday next year from Monday to Friday 8 May in order to coincide with the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
“Sparked by a conversation I had with Simon and Debbie Pritchard, owners of Bookends in Christchurch [one of Rose’s customers] when we were still reeling from the incredibly announcement that next May’s Bank Holiday was to be moved from the Monday to the Friday of the same week, and the confusion and damage to business it would do, I felt compelled to react,” Rose told PG Buzz. “Of course I have the utmost respect for those who fought on our behalf during the First and Second World Wars, and recognise the importance of Remembrance Day and highlighting the VE Day anniversaries, but some more careful planning would have been appreciated by all I am sure.”
Adopting a dual-pronged strategy, Rose went straight to the top, contacting business minister Andrea Leadsom as well as flying off a heartfelt missive to her local MP David Warbuton of Somerton and Frome in Somerset. In her correspondence Rose explained how, for the last 30 years she has worked “in the greeting card and gift industry where we are all about giving, friendship and love,” but how the late notice of changing the bank holiday has sullied some of that love to resentment and concern.
“By the time the date change was announced so many of the diaries and calendars had been produced with the original date. I have many shops who cater for a tourist trade who look to buy these products in the summer. It is so wrong that there was scant regard for the confusion that will be caused by the wrong date being in the products, let alone the upheaval to other businesses,” said Rose.
When she did not hear back ‘tenacious Trow’ contacted them both again.She then received a letter from Lord Duncan of Springbank, who responded on behalf of Andrea Leadsome. ‘I was very sorry to read about the disruption that moving the date of the bank holiday has caused for businesses in the greeting card and gift industry,’ wrote Lord Duncan, who said that the announcement of the new one off date was made “as early as possible.”
These words would also echoed by MP David Warbuton, whose response to Rose arrived earlier this week.
Having been alerted to how Morris Dancers have also been campaigning against the damage moving the bank holiday is to their traditions, Rose feels that the industry would have done well to join forces with them earlier in the campaign. “As I read in PG this month, sometimes we find allies in the strangest of places!”
Top: Rosie Trow (centre) with customers(left) Maggie Wynn of Just Cards, Honiton and Deborah Tingay of Southbourne Cards, Bournemouth, at PG Live in June.