Don Your Way column: Why I'll not be sad to see House of Fraser close in Doncaster

Darren Burke isn't shedding too many tears at the closure of House of Fraser.
Darren Burke isn't shedding too many tears at the closure of House of Fraser.

So, farewell then House of Fraser, the latest casualty of the shopping revolution changing the face of the nation's High Streets, and more locally, Doncaster's Baxtergate forever.

Like Toys R Us, Woolworths and this week's latest casualty Poundworld, the towering store, forever known to generations of Doncastrians as Binns, will shut up shop for the last time next year.

Bosses have had to take some tough measures to secure the remaining stores within the chain as shopping habits change and Doncaster was one of the not so lucky ones which will be met with the axe and the loss of dozens of jobs.

As usual, we heard the usual cries of "No! It can't close!" - closely followed, of course by: "Well, I haven't actually been in for a few years..."

And of course, that's just the problem. We're all guilty of doing our shopping via Amazon and of course, HOF couldn't keep pace, like many others, with the way we prefer to get our stuff these days.

I'm not going to get all dewy-eyed and sentimental about Binns. To be honest, I can probably count on one hand the number of times I set foot through its doors over the years.

I think I may have been taken along as a youngster to see Father Christmas in his grotto, but as I entered my teenage years, it was considered terribly old fashioned and not the place to be spotted in.

As I got older, it was just one of those stores that didn't really feature on my radar. I could invariably find the stuff it sold cheaper somewhere else - and so that's what I did, I took my custom elsewhere.

That's not to say that I don't realise the value it gave to Doncaster, the place it has in many people's hearts and those who will be devastated to see it go.

It just wasn't "my shop" or "my scene."

Just like British Home Stores, Greenwoods and a few other casualties, there's no point bemoaning a store's demise if you don't actually shop there.

Woolworths, on the other hand, was a veritable treasure trove growing up. From its impressive toy department as a youngster, to all the latest records as a teen and then dull but necessary household items like light bulbs and paintbrushes as an adult - Woolies had everthing you could ever need (although I think 95% of customers only went there for the pick 'n' mix).

Readers of a certain age still mourn the loss of shops from their childhoods and which became part of the Doncaster landscape.

I'm sure I only have to mention names such as Hodgson and Hepworth, Wild and Sykes, John Butler, Taylor and Coleridge, Cuttriss's and Zodiac Toys to have the memories flooding back.

Then there's the places I've loved and lost - Track Records, Andy's Records, Music Zone, Our Price and cafes and pubs such as The Golden Egg, the Gingham Kitchen, Speedibar and Joplins, Scruffy Murphy's and Camelots.

Truth is, things change, people and places move on, what we once held dear can soon become a distant memory - and unless our stores adjust to those needs, there will be plenty more casualties in the years ahead.

If you love your local shop, be it a major chain or a local independent, then use it and give it your support.

Feet through the door is the key to survival and as they say, use it or lose it.