Dorking delighted with royal visit

October 31, 2013
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The woman known as the Queen of Shops took a tour of Dorking town centre on Thursday (October 31).

Mary Portas was lending her support to the Try Dorking First campaign encouraging people to spend their Christmas budget in the town.

Sally Elias, a member of the Transition Dorking environmental group and the driving force behind the campaign, said the visit was “utterly brilliant”, despite a slightly late arrival.

“I think she felt a bit bad about being late and she wanted to go straight out onto the streets,” Mrs Elias said. “She met a lot of retailers and she was really impressed with Dorking.

“I think she sees a lot of places which are run-down and said Dorking had a lot to offer and was particularly impressed by West Street.

“She talked about branding the town as a shopping concept, making people think ‘you come to Dorking because you know there’s going to be a feast of independent stores’.”

As well as giving advice to retailers, the television star spoke to councillors and representatives of the Dorking Town Centre Management and traders groups.

Earlier in the week an orange wig was hung upon the famous metal cockerel, on the Deepdene roundabout, in her honour.

The visit was also aimed at promoting the Golden Ticket Day on Saturday, November 9, when shops will offer a chance to enter a draw for prizes, and Mrs Elias said there would be a follow-up meeting to see how Dorking’s shops could benefit from what they learnt on the day.

“We have to see how we can take this forward and make sure it isn’t a one-off,” she told Get Surrey. “We want to get outsiders to come into Dorking.”

Article source: http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/business/dorking-delighted-royal-visit---6261230


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