THERE'S no doubt the rampaging virus has had a huge impact on commercial life and countless livelihoods around the globe but in and around Lithgow there are signs that it's not all downhill as we move into a new financial year.
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We have lost businesses, most notably the long established Prints 'N Frames and Jock's homewear and gifts on the railway concourse, and only two of our pubs (and both clubs) have so far returned to full time operation.
But in encouraging new developments a new pizza café opened this week in the east end, a locksmith is expanding from the central CBD to bigger premises in the east end, a new fruit and vegetable shop, the first in mid town in a couple of years, has opened in the central block of Main Street and new owners have purchased the long established Lithgow Workwear and Emboidery.
Then there's the icing on the Main Street cake, the transformation nearing completion on the old 19th century building on the corner of Gray Street.
The bottom section of the building is all in sandstone blocks, constructed in 1850; the upstairs section was added 100 years later.
It's had a number of uses, most memorably a Wood and Wood funeral parlour and adjacent shoe repair business (you could make sure your shoes were in good shape for your departure).
The new owner was determined to transform the tired old building into a source of pride for the CBD and judging by public feedback he has achieved just that.
Indications are that the main area downstairs is to be professional quarters with a specialised food outlet in the smaller section.
Upstairs is reportedly to be B and B style accommodation.
More of that sort of confidence in Lithgow will always be welcome.
MEANTIME residential real estate was the big talking point in Lithgow last week with the Wednesday auction offering of 'Wenvoe', aka 'The Bracey Mansion', circa 1914.
By the time the column hits the news stands it may well have been sold but the auctioneers were saying little and still had the auction listed on their website at the weekend.
But usually informed sources said bidding had stalled around the million dollar mark, well short of the reported reserve, and 'negotiations were continuing'.
STILL with auctions and an alert reader has pointed out that we 'missed one' when the column recently drew attention to tardy out of town auctioneers who hadn't returned to remove advertising hoardings months after the event.
We mentioned less than attractive signage on awnings above Helloworld and St George Bank but it's been pointed out there's another in Lithgow Street for the complex housing BWS Liquor and Supercheap Auto that dates back to February.
Just a little more CBD trivia.
THE word out there is that Council plans to knock down the old amenities block in what used to be the Glanmire Park caravan park.
Can't happen soon enough for residents concerned at nightly activity since two of the doors were jemmied open leaving ample evidence of both theft and vandalism and possibly even more unwanted activity in the laundry and boiler room.
The once popular caravan park enjoyed a boom period with contractors when Wallerawang power station was being constructed in the 1950s and '60s but closed after a privately run caravan park opened at Bowenfels.
The amenities block has had little care in decades but its demolition would create a significant problem with no alternative toilet facilities available for cricket competition on Glanmire Oval.
Under the present arrangement the cricketers have a key to open and lock the toilet section on match days.
The nearby hockey players have their own secure facilities. (Worth noting the only sporting fields in Lithgow with toilet amenities are the showground, Marjorie Jackson Oval and the greyhound complex).
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