Shrewsbury music shop sends parting shot to Shropshire Council over parking

Owners of an independent music shop in Shrewsbury have closed their doors – but have fired a parting shot at Shropshire Council’s parking policies for its role in the store’s demise.

Bum note – the owners of County Music Supplies in Shrewsbury fired this parting shot on their front window at the council after closing their premises
Bum note – the owners of County Music Supplies in Shrewsbury fired this parting shot on their front window at the council after closing their premises

The County Music Supplies shop, on Wyle Cop in Shrewsbury, closed on Saturday and has blamed inflated parking charges and over-zealous traffic wardens on its demise. In a defiant message to council chiefs the owners of the shop, which used to have a branch in Wrexham, commissioned sign writer Andy Field to paint a notice to customers.

The sign reads: “Due to increasing costs, high rates, and the morons who make Shrewsbury’s parking policies and the wardens that enforce them making our customers lives a misery, we have decided to withdraw our business from the high street.”

Mr Field said: “They are yet another victim of the parking charges and the new Sunday charges have merely put the lid on the issue for them. It’s a sad sign of the times and another blow to the town centre.”

But Heather Maskill, who has run A Little Furniture Shop on Wyle Cop for the past 12 years, said: “Shrewsbury has been quiet for a long time and I’m not convinced this is just down to parking charges.”

Shropshire Councillor Simon Jones said: “We have worked very hard to encourage people to shop in Shropshire’s town centre.”

The owners were today unavailable.

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Comments for: "Shrewsbury music shop sends parting shot to Shropshire Council over parking"

steve wright

such a shame. I bought 2 guitars from this store. another nail in the coffin for Shrewsbury town centre. the council MUST do more to encourage both businesses and customers into the town.


Was this shop open on a Sunday? If not then why are you jointly blaming Sunday parking charges?


No it never opened at all on a Sunday so the complaint about Sunday parking charges is pointless.


The shop regularly opened on Sundays. I know - I've been there.


I am sorry but I can't see a mention of Sunday parking in the shop window.

Owd Monner

Who on here works for Shropshire Council? Own up.

Andrew finch

Oh dear, but that is a wonderful doorway for the parking warden to hide in and watch people, they hide in the one just up from rackhams too always a shock when you walk around a corner and find them just standing there.Oh forgot the one by the hole in the wall it is also another and a shop keeper down mardol says they hang around his aswell to catch one of the shop owners who over stays in the loading bay , they always pop out like dangerous Brian,Brian connly,s old charactor .

However people should adhere to parking restrictions however some shops are sitauated in such places it is impossible to get near for heavy bulky items and even the delivery men now it seems just go with the ticket .

Also we have not a need for sunday parking charges, fees from carparking charges i thought were for the running and up keep of the carparks, the money generated from them we should all get valet parking , it is just seen as a cash cow as do many things these days in the uk, anything where we can make a quid off joe public. ,

Steve Merchant

Absolutely!! Well said boys. Totally agree. So that's another independent gone. Do you think some of these councilors dare walk around the town on a Sunday afternoon now and see the damage that their penny pinching is doing? I doubt it. But the bean-counters won't care so long as that salary keeps arriving and the pension stays on the horizon. As stated...morons


How do they blame sunday parking fees when the shop was closed on Sunday Feb 17 when i walked in to town...

Infact only three shops were open on Wyle Cop on sunday, the castle grounds were closed as were two coffee shops.

Our friends from London exclaimed "what is it with Sundays in Shrewsbury?" and a couple of passing American / Canadian visitors concurred!!!!

Andrew finch

Odd not much trading on a sunday in the usa either why were they shocked?


Rubbish! The vast majority of shops in the US are open for business on Sundays.

Andrew finch

Rubbish to you too possibly in your tourist spots , Boston however was very quiet on a sunday.

Andrew finch

I do not beleive they the store blamed sunday parking , i thought it clearly says they were unavailable to comment


Because the shop closed its doors on Saturday, hence why it was not open on Sunday 17th!


The shop was closed on sunday 17th because the business ceased trading on saturday 16th !!


they closed on the 16th this be why they were closed on the 17th

Lucy W

Looks like suitably available premises for another Lap Dancing Club - With every door that closes another one opens!


At least a lap dancing club will attract someone that doesn't mind paying for parking!!!


Good for them! I think for too long now that Shrewsbury has thought of itself as superior to many places surrounding it. Changing many things in order to attract a certain type of people... Upper Class...

What they have forgotten is that although they have a rather high disregard for Telford and the people that live there, Telford offers a much more diverse range of shops, easier access and less people looking down their nose at you when you walk through town and into a shop!

Shrewsbury council, instead of attracting lots of different types of people that may spend a little money but often, which would have kept Shrewsbury popular, they have tried to aim for customers with more disposable income that will spend alot of money. Sadly, those people are few and far between.

Alot of my friends and myself included will no longer go to Shrewsbury as really, there are no interesting stores like in Telford or Wolverhampton and everytime we have been in the past, we have been looked upon with such distaste that i frankly feel the most uncomfortable I have ever felt when i enter Shrewsbury.

I think the music store should go to Telford! Telford needs a good music store in or close to the town centre!




you must be the chap from cannock??


"Telford offers a much more diverse range of shops"

I really have to disagree with this. One of the pleasures of being in Shrewsbury is discovering the range of shops available. Alongside the national retailers there are wide range of independent stores and a busy town centre market. I went shopping in Telford a couple of weeks ago and it felt like I could have been in any shopping centre in the country. Yes there are some big name stores that aren't in Shrewsbury but diverse it is not.


The only thing Telford needs is knocking down. Every time my wife and I have visited Shrewsbury, we don't park in the centre, we park in a street. Prices all round the country are becoming ridiculous. Even Shrewsbury Hospital charge a fortune to park, and you can be fined or clamped for not paying for it, even if you've pulled outside A&E because it's an emergency. It's not Shrewsbury Council's fault, entirely. It's the government. They appear to have created a time machine and sent us back to the late 80s/early 90s.


"Upper Class" ... the last time I went shopping in Telford the majority of people were wearing PJ's and dressing gowns pushing 4 seater prams with fags hanging out of their mouths!!! No suprise that "People looking down their nose at you" when you come shopping over here!!!


I agree, The parking in Shrewsbury is appalling which is why I only ever use the park and ride, otherwise I'd be going to Telford all the time to shop - not sure how the wardens can be blamed though? They are paid to do a job and they do it, they've got mortgages and bills to pay too! The thousands of disabled bays in the barker street car parks is ridiculous and the costs to just nip in and out is too much - £1.60 return on the park n ride is a no brainer!

Port Hill Boy

But they can't blame Shrewsbury parking regulations for the closure of their shop in Wrexham can they?

More likely is that the business just didn't have the appeal it once had.


If is was being cynical I'd say it might have a bit more to do with their very optimistic product pricing. They were not remotely competitive on some items widely available - including at other local retailers, not just on the internet. Anybody who'd done the most basic research would have noticed that straight away and I suspect their strongest market would have been people - often with kids wanting instruments - who really didn't know what to expect. I think it's fair to say they weren't regarded as a serious contender by Shropshire's many gigging musicians! Still the town really doesn't need another empty shop...


Shrewsbury town has been dying for a while now. The shopping centres are particularly miserable with more closed stores than open, and the high streets (Wyle Cop In Particular) seem to contain an unhealthy mix of Shabby Sheek and coffee shops - all of which sell the same junk but priced slightly differently. There is one in particular that I won't name, they have opened recently and appear to have what resembles some nice rusty broken furniture for sale in their window display. Whilst their stock clearly comes from the "Any Old Iron" van, you would be mistaken to believe the price would reflect this.

When walking around Shrewsbury you get the distinct feeling that you are not welcome, and, although I'm sure there are plenty of nice people, the majority seem to look down their nose at you like they are somehow superior.

Nothings free

Stan i think your take on the shops on wyle cop are little off to be honest including your view or non experience regarding shabby chic items etc especially when you refer to one shop in particular which i understand is doing rather well, from what i saw they sell new items too have you been in? talked to the lady ? see what they offer etc etc your view may change .

We have many shabby chic , vintage shops in shrewsbury all of which offer many things and are used by many shoppers and do rather well actually.

Just because you do not appreciate shabby chic, enamel ware , vintage items and coffee shops does not mean it is all junk or not wanted in shrewsbury , it is simply not to your taste what ever that may be, but they are people running their own business and working for a living remember that sir... .


Thank you for your reply. After walking past several times and seeing the lady in there walking around with nothing on her feet that alone put me off going inside.

Nothings free

Well in all honesty stan none of the shops on wylecop i imagine would benefit from you as you not a spender , so your pretty pointless in the big scheme of things.

Mark Evans

Just being picky, there is no need for the "&" after high rates. Ha!


If there's one thing that's really badly wrong with the town centre parking it's the balance between loading bays and disabled bays - you can load (or loaf around) quite easily but if you have a disabled passenger who needs to be away from the car for more than a few minutes then forget it - there are 100 loading spaces but only half a dozen disabled spaces in the 'one way circuit'

Andrew finch

To be honest bill it is the wrong way around we have enough disabled spots , but little loading bays, half of which i think should be short term drop off bays and marked as so

.I have never ever had a parking ticket but used to drop stuff off for the charity shops until one of these wardens said to me this is a loading bay you can carry those bags from a car park or pay for thirty minutes on the side of the road , i was under 3 minutes .

I asked him what was the official size weight of an acceptable item where i would be in his opinion loading/unloading his answer not those bags , he in my opinion had difficulty understanding the difference between being assertive and simply being rude, confrontational and in general a little adolf .


if u got that many traffic wardens in shrews maybe we could borrow a couple in telford by the way can you tell me wat they look like

Quintin Morgan

Regrettably this statement is completely accurate, the parking policies, prices and enforcement methods adopted and controlled by the council are working in a detrimental and damaging way for business. They are blind to the reality of the economic downturn, they spend thousand on consultants, whilst changing Sunday parking rules to increase revenue and to trick tourist and anyone visiting the town so they can issue penalty charge notices. It is not rocket science to work out shoppers would rather go to free out of town shopping areas, than to come into Shrewsbury and find a decimated high street. If you want to see how a tourist driven, buoyant economy is managed by its council and operated in conjunction with its shops and businesses, visit Chester, Lincoln or York.

'Shropshire Councillor Simon Jones said: “We have worked very hard to encourage people to shop in Shropshire’s town centre.”

How exactly Mr Jones?Not much detail there about your so called encouragement.


Sorry tyo see them go but I doubt parking was a major cause of their demise. I suspect that, as there are three other musical instrument shops in Shrewsbury, it is more a case of an overstretched market.

Shrews girl

It's the sign writer that points to the parking and Sunday parking charges.

I don't know the business owner(s), but reading between the lines there were probably many contributory factors that have led to them making the decision to close. However regardless of whether they opened on Sunday's or not, they obviously feel that our Council are not aiding and supporting the Independent business' in the town, which I have to agree.

I have for some time tried to avoid paying parking charges, parking further out and walking in Monday to Saturday, but for those buying large purchases from any shop, and those that aren't so able bodied, that is not possible for them to do. Whilst I didn't go into Shrewsbury very often on a Sunday, the new Sunday parking charges have put a kibosh on me ever going into town on that day again as a point of principle and to prove the 'extra' revenue they claim they will get, isn't actually there.

Terry Tibbs

Council to me !

This is typical of the local councils. The simple fact is that British Business is now so taxed, so fined, so regulated and so over governed by the huge army of trolls who are our politicians, local councils, water authorities, health and safety et al. How many councillors or council officials have EVER run a business ? Answer perhaps 1% of them if you are lucky. They haven't got the faintest idea about how hard it is to run a business or about handling money because they only ever CONSUME money and never generate any of the money they spend. If you ran your household budget the way the councils runs their budgets, you'd be bankrupt in a month, BUT if your a council whose budget has gone wrong, never worry, you can always get money by charging for Sunday parking or increasing tickets or basically stealing other peoples money. Legalised robbery. Not one of these councils could survive in the world of commerce or business. However given a title, they can lord it over the honest business people of the country, demanding more tax take, less avoidance, more regulation, more compliance and more nonsense.

For anyone contemplating setting up a legitimate UK business today I'd say don't bother, forget it, your chances of making an honest living are virtually zero. Crime is far more lucrative, because it ignores regulations and just gets the job done. Far better to be unemployed, scrounge off the state and then operate freely in the black economy where there is no regulation and stupidity to contend with and you get to keep all the money you make.

To conclude Starbucks should have told the UK government to sod-off and the only thing they did wrong was to gift the government £20Million when legally they simply didn't need to do that at all. The £20Million gift will simply be squandered by the government as per usual.

Goodnight and God Bless

Terry Tibbs

Peter Roberts

Well said Terry, You are 100% spot on.

Councils are vast sponges soaking up the hard earned money from working people and squandering it on stupid policies hardly anyone would want to pay for if it was their own cash.

They really haven't a clue and those who would be effective and successful at running a council are too busy running their own lives earning enough to survive on.

It is a sorry state of affairs but unfortunately, it isn't going to change any-time soon.


You only have to look at Oswestry and Wrexham to realise that shop closuers are not just limited to Shrewbury. I beleive it is national. four shop closures in Oswestry alone in one week. taff.

T ryder

I think it's time we got rid of these morons at the council, perhaps if we had a vote of no confirdance in them from all the business people of the town, we could start a fresh?, what do you think shoppers of our county town?

Howard Moon

You think it's hard now, wait until Waitrose opens on Otley Road, the new supermarket goes in by the BP Garage and the new town extension changes the boundaries of town forever, not only destroying more precious countryside but also extending the business park and adding more shops where people can avoid the centre. The Council are doing their best to destroy Shrewsbury town centre, not encourage people to use it.


The fact that the owners of the shop have gone to the trouble of posting this message shows the strength of feeling about the whole access and parking situation in Shrewsbury. It will strike a chord with many! Parking is seen by Shropshire Council as a cash king rather than a service to the town centre businesses. The recent tweaking of roadside parking to commence at 8.00am instead of 8.30am is proof. This just adds more negative vibes about the town for all of us who try to use our lovely town centre but are fed up with having cash extracted from us at every twist and turn. Shrewsbury is still a town of independent shops but each year it gets harder as Shropshire Council grants planning for more and more shops at out of town locations with free parking.

Wake up! Shropshire Council and start creating some good vibes about this, not just short term measures at Christmas time. There may be more shops yet to close and then you will be collecting less in business rates. A thorough review of parking charges is still needed.


Whatever is the real reason for their demise, it goes without saying that high parking charges and high business rates have a major impact on the footfall in town centres. If you need a couple of reletively cheap cables or some guitar strings, it is much easier to fire up Google and find an online supplier who can have the goods with you in a few days. It is that kind of business that is the backbone of any music shop's turnover.

In many parts of France, they don't have car parking charges! The car parks even have FREE camper van facilities, like electricity to plug into, toilet waste disposal points and you can stay overnight. The local Council's know that people will come to their towns and spend money with the shops and restaurants! A much more 'pro-active' attitude! The French invented Supermarkets and 'out-of-town', shopping... AND the towns are prosperous alongside them. It will take just ONE Council to make parking FREE and soon, parking throughout Britain could become free after the positive benefits are witnessed Nationally.

Cars are NOT going away. We all have the cost of them due to the way our towns are planned... so, car usage will carry on increasing anyway. Let's all just accept that and take away the stress on people so they can live a happier life! Make doing business in towns EASY!

I loved this shop!! it is such a shame. it was a credit to shrewsbury and the owners really helped local musicians to excell with their excellent advice and knowledge about instruments and music of all types!

The council need to sort themselves out!

Independent stores do wonders for our economy, giving locals jobs and importantly, they help to keep the spirt of shrewsbury community alive.

If any more shops close, the town will become like most others in Britain, boarded up and glum.

What would the council prefer?! Lower their costs, or have no one there at all?!

Liz, 17

The closing of this shop is such a shame. The staff their had incredible talent and were an aspiration to the community. Their knowledge and experience has helped many excell within the music proffession.

The council needs to sort themselves out (to put it politely).

Most towns in Britain are, in essence, boarded up. Would the council of Shrewsbury prefer to lower their parking charges or have no one in the town at all?! i think i know which one i'd go for.

Independent shops so wonders for our economy, not only providing jobs for locals but also bringing in business, enterprise and passion to Shrewsbury.

Someone needs to take action, and this sign has prehaps just pushed the council towards that change!

TK Maxx also closing its doors and moving to Meole this week. Our town needs to look at what they have done with Eagle Meadows in Wrexham. The Cinema and Bowling attract young people to the town with reasonable parking fairs.

A Plant

Well, Shrewsbury has lost a fantastic music shop. I travel a good distance to shop there and I probably wont visit the town as often if this great shop is no longer there!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What a disgrace!!

Obviously shropshire County council are not particulary bothered about loss of revenue!!???

Thanks Mr Music Shop man and hope I find you wherever you decide to set up!!!

Shropshires loss another towns gain


Tommy Trinder

Oswestry is suffering the same retail decline for precisely the same reasons. But our Councillors haven't got the wit or vision to address the problem, their solution to most things is to increase rates, increase parking charges and hound the motorist with parking wardens. Is it any wonder people choose to shop out of town where the parking is invariably free.

Johnny B

In my opinion the proprietor was one of the most objectionable little men I have ever met. I`m not completely surprised he has gone out of business


Are you a Traffic Warden by any chance?


So, nothing to do with a recession that has lasted 5 years? Car parks in town are always full when ever I am in town. As for "morons" who run the council, this is gross disrespect. You lot should try running a local authority and see how you get on. I think you may find it's a tad more difficult than you envisage.


What parking areas are they referring to? To my knowledge there are only loading bays, disabled, etc anywhere near - so if you park in one of those you deserve a ticket. My guess is that the owners are hiding hurt ego because the shop wasn't popular so blame the nasty council.

John Taylor

The shop was always busy when I went in?

Robert Tressell

Well said and a perfect illustration as to why people should stop moaning about businesses relocating out of town. If the council want to clobber motorists then anyone who has to collect anything larger than you can carry onto a bus will be forced to shop elsewhere. Just imagine trying to get a set of drums on a bus. Shrewsbury is in self-destruct mode.

all you people moaning about parking in shrewsbury why not use park and ride?

Peter H

They closed because they couldn't compete with Music Bros. Parking isn't great - but never has been in Shrewsbury, but other stores do just fine. In the whole time it was open I never felt compelled to buy anything from them and I'm someone that does like to support local shops. Other stores in town win my business with great service - and since generally musical purchases are quite high value £3 to park the car isn't going to stop me.

Owd Monner

Is it now Shropshire Council afternoon policy to flood the message boards at any sign of rumblings from the natives? Well I suppose that the over-staffed PR Department have got to find something to do.


Councils are just administrators of OUR towns! It's time to take back ownership of our country. The situation the WHOLE country now finds itself in, is the price of sitting back complaining and saying... "They ought to do something about it." Well, surprise, surprise... WE are THEY. Get involved, hound youR local ELECTABLE Councillors and let them know exactly what you expect from them! If you care about YOUR town that much, then form a group with like minded people, with a block of votes, and put that block with whichever Councillor brings the right changes to make YOUR town prosper! Town TRADERS... get together, include your employees too, into a pressure Group.



What I don't understand is why make such a public protest and then be unavailable for comment!!

Surely if you want to raise awareness of the difficulties facing independent traders in the town a comment in the largest local newspaper would be just the place!

PS calling people morons simply cheapens an otherwise valid and important issue.

Fred Bear

Right, here goes,

- Car parking charges are frustrating and don't help.

- Councils can't afford to not charge for car parks, especially those that have to have flood services.

- Some businesses aren't sustainable anymore due to internet competition.

- This is one of them.

- The depleting High Street is a National problem.

- We prefer convenience and value as consumers.

- Most shops now need an online presence to survive and therefore need dispatch loading and unloading room.

- There isn't room in most towns and cities for this because they were built compact and tight without that need.

- Shrewsbury is dependent on the unprofitable independent shops which struggle from the above issues.

- Without these independents we lose our tourism offer

- Without these independents the desirability of Shrewsbury drops

- That effects house prices etc.

The answer is that it needs to be managed with an eye on increasing tourism. Shops really need to consider the importance of Sunday trading and the Council really needs to consider the implications of squeezing rates on what are essentially low profit making tourist attractions. Shops also need to get their act together in an increasingly changing and competitive market. If they don't have the right offer then they will die, simple as that. Furthermore, we are going to lose more and more of these in the future. When we do, we have to think of using that space differently because shrinkage of the High Street is inevitable and can't be stopped by any Council.


Well said P G and Fred Bear.I totally agree with you both.


The music shop was rubbish and Music Bros on Roushill far better quality.

I know for a fact that the owner of county music shop did nothing but give abuse to the traffic wardens doing their job on a daily basis.

And a note for Andrew FINCH, you are such a if the traffic wardens made you walk from the car park to unload bags to a charity shop!! I recently did the same thing and the lovely warden said of course you can unload bags as it is a loading bay free for everyone to use.

I think the wardens get unfair negative comments, they are only human... doing a job that is needed.

John Taylor

Sarah, you're clearly a traffic warden lol!

Liam B

Absolutely disgusted this shop has been forced to close over such things as parking charges etc.

Consider that a loss of custom in the Shrewsbury from now on!

Long Love County Music Supplies!!


Shrewsbury Taxpayer

Unfortunately, councillors and council employees do not generate revenue. They only spend the money of others. They thus have no concept of good business practice. Sure, the economy has been tough for a while, but parking charges really do not help. Cut back on the bureaucrats and their gold-plated pensions, then one could reduce parking charges, and council tax.

Diane Bartlett

Its little wonder that shops like this are having to pull out of Town, Shrewsbury is a beautiful town but the Council haven't a clue. They need to visit towns like Dudley in the West Midlands to see how high rates, parking costs and out of town huge shopping centres totally ruin small shops. I love shopping on High Streets, out in the fresh air with a good variety of Individual shops all selling something a little different to the sheep like big stores. Don't let these small shops down lobby our Council to see what they are doing is wrong.