THE closure of businesses that have provided a good service to tens of thousands of customers over decades is always sad.

This week we report that Wilds Sports on Jewry Street and Creative Crafts on The Square are closing their doors for the last time, a victim of the online revolution and increasing rents and rates. Danny Cornter, the owner of Wilds Sports, in a statement we have published in full on page 2, also cited the lack of parking and the Christmas market, among other things.

Lyn Symonds, of Creative Crafts, believes other independents will depart this year.

No doubt this will be ammunition for those who say Winchester is ‘dying.’

No, Winchester is not dying, but it is changing as it has constantly changed since it was founded by the Romans. Nowhere stays still except places like Pompeii buried under a mountain of volcanic ash.

People talk about the end of the ‘independents’ as if it is a new thing, seemingly oblivious to the fact that Marks and Spencer, Boots, WH Smith, Sainsbury’s, Debenhams and others have been here for years and years.

The High Street will carry on changing and if you actually analyse the facts rather than what people ‘feel’ you would see that independent-owned shops and other businesses have done well in Winchester. There is no reason why that cannot continue.