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The New Woodford

By on February 24, 2010

Elvis Grapelands WoodfordAs everywhere, Woodford is now expanding. Once a quiet country town, Woodford is now becoming more populated which brings growth in every aspect. As we start to lose Woodford’s country identity and become more suburbia orientated, some people are disappointed their town is growing and others are enjoying the new opportunities brought by the growing population.
So as we say goodbye to the great Icon of the town Nick Comino (Alias Elvis Parsley), we wish him well in his new ventures but are reluctant to let him go. He is the life of the town. The one that lifts our spirits with his friendly smile, his music and his Elvis impersonations. What a voice he has, not able to make it in Hollywood, Nick did the next best thing by entertaining us in his fruit shop (Grapelands). Yes he did make his mark, loved by the town’s locals and known all over Australia, even reaching the overseas market. Photos on his walls of the fruit shop show Nick standing with many famous people. The latest one in December 09 was Bob Hawke and his wife. Nick has also been featured on the Getaway TV Show, the Times newspaper and has become very popular all around. Tourists have come in their droves to meet the talented charismatic character and sadly its time to say goodbye to his fruit shop and welcome the new Woodford.
We know when a town is ready to expand when the giant supermarkets step in. As Woolworths is due to open very soon and their building progress is coming to an end, we are faced with our very first traffic lights. They are rumored to be placed on the corner of Kropp road and D’Aguliar highway. As traffic gets busier we will see more and more traffic lights and speeds will be reduced in many areas where once locals previously drove about in 80 and 100 km zones.
How we hate traffic lights, but with progress comes traffic and unfortunately there is no alternative but to live with it and make the best out of it.
Of course in the climate where jobs are short, its a relief for many people in the town to be able to find work. This is one of the advantages of having Woolworths come to the town. I’ve talked to many people that say its a great opportunity for mothers who can work part time and help boost the family income and still tend to their children’s needs. The other is our teenagers who can get part time and full time work and not have to travel to Caboolture for their first job.

IGA has already given quite a number of jobs to the locals which has improved the town’s economic situation and the peoples moral. But the big question is “can the town support two major grocery stores?”. How many other businesses will not survive because of these two giants? woodford woolworths projectNick realised that his store could never compete and made his decision to move on and start a nursery selling chemical free lettuce, fruit trees and native trees.  

Others like Dave O’halloran cut his small Food and Variety  Store in half and made it into a real estate when the IGA moved into town. Diversity is the key to survival for these small businesses.  Once Woolworths opens will they need to close the convenience store completely and expand on  the Gold Real Estate  aspect of their business?

The other icon who has left us is Charlie Chainsaws.  All the locals new Charlie but his reasons for selling up was of a personal one but in his wake we will get some more shops which again mean more jobs. Other businesses like Mike Streets auto parts and Macs mowers see the population explosion as an advantage to their businesses as Woolworths will bring more customers their way. Deb at the Laundromat can only see more working mothers dropping their ironing and washing off as they will be able to afford to.

So like it or hate it, change is coming to Woodford. Leaving Nick Comino and his fruit store, The Grapelands in the history of Woodford with all the other brave pioneers and now we all try to get use to and even look forward to the New Woodford.

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3 Comments

  1. Cam

    March 16, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    In a few years the old Woodford will just be a memory and its too late now because we let it happen. Malaney and Mullumbimby (NSW) fought the Big guys from coming to their town. Malaney lost, not sure how Mullumbimby’s going? At least they are giving it a go!

  2. Julie

    March 8, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    Thought Clive’s coments were absolutly right. Woodford will just become another suburb. Losing its cute and quaint feel it has at the moment. Surely bringing in the tourist and losing the giants ie Woolworths, will service the town. That unique feel we all love, it’ll make people flock to see the town as towns like these are dying out. Woolworths always winning because cant fight agaisnt them because they have to much money behind them. Its very sad indeed.

  3. Clive

    March 2, 2010 at 4:02 am

    Alas change is coming, but with the chains moving in, not the right kind of change. I was in Woodford a few weeks ago and found it charming.

    We even had the pleasure of meeting Elvis Parsley, singing in the local cafe one Saturday afternoon and have told many people about that and then finding his shop Grapelands (and no I had never heard of it before)

    Quirkiness like that does not come in the form of Woolworth or their ilk.

    Hang on to the past Woodford, change is not always a good thing!