Small Businesses

Part of Prayers – in the House of Commons at 10:35 am on 15th May 1987.

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Photo of Mr Roger King Mr Roger King , Birmingham, Northfield 10:35 am, 15th May 1987

My hon. Friend is right and has made a number of interesting points. His reference to Ironbridge is particularly relevant to me because as a small business man I operated in that area of Shropshire for a number of years and I became a part-time assistant—unpaid, I should add—in the squatter's cottage on the Blist hill site. In the very cold winters, we had a roaring fire going and people used to come from all over the world. I was promoted to the Mission church, which is a little tin shed, a traditional Mission church, where people used to come and expect me to deliver the sermon. On one occasion I was tempted to do just that, but it was part and parcel of a development in tourism which was self-funded. The state did not provide any money; it has been resourced by a number of grants from British industry.

Ironbridge, which is a little off the beaten track with no motorway going through it, has a large number of cafes, shops, restaurants, public houses and so on, which have sprung up as a result of the attraction that that museum is giving the area. All of those are small businesses.