Crisis in the Countryside
Tom Parker Bowles meets the blacksmith who took a panning – but has bounced back from covid oblivion
In his latest investigation into the crisis faced by businesses in the countryside, our man talks to Neil Currie of the Netherton Foundry who – like so many - has found a lifeline for his pots and pans business online – but wonders if we will EVER return to the small shops on our high streets
Crisis in the Country is the name of Tom Parker Bowles series of interviews in which he talks with people in rural centric business impacted by the Covid -19 pandemic. A clever play on words, as the whole nation is impacted by the corona crisis, but Tom focusses on those businesses operating in the countryside, away from the towns and cities, but whose businesses are no less and, in some cases, even more affected by the lockdown and the necessary restrictions imposed on our daily lives. Survival is an emotive word, but for many this has been a fight to survive. We were delighted to be invited to participate in one of Tom’s interviews, keenly embracing the new normality of a Zoom conversation.
The current crisis is surely the strangest time any of us has ever experienced and we had no idea what it would mean for Netherton Foundry. Even though we supply cookware around the world from our workshops in a village in Southern Shropshire, we are rarely the centre of the wider world’s attention. But things change, events overtake us, and the most unexpected of situations shine lights into new corners.
During their chat Neil explained to Tom our initial fears for the business, our staff and our customers when lockdown started, the growth of on-line sales during lockdown and our hopes for the small independent shops when lockdown is lifted.
Tom is a British food critic an foodwriter, the author of seven cookbooks and in 2010 won the Guild of food Writers 2010 award for his writings on british food. He is known for his appearances as a judge in numerous television food series and for his reviews of restaurant meals around the UK and overseas for GQ, Esquire, and The Mail on Sunday.
The series is published on line by Mail +, the digital arm of the Daily Mail.