A second empty store in Newport has had its windows decorated as part of Operation Geranium.
Operation Geranium is a scheme in which volunteers delivered pots of the plants to isolated and vulnerable elderly Island residents during Lockdown One, and it is to be extended this year. The project is supported by local Health Care Hospital worker Steve Double from Ryde and it also produced a series of postcards by Island artists which are available for free.
Steve explained: “Many of the St Mary’s staff have come here from abroad and they are currently unable to go home and visit their friends and families, so these special postcards have given them the opportunity to re-connect.”We have already produced 5,000 and Wight Aid have funded more, so we are giving them out to any business, community group or sports team so that we can keep the idea going.”
Before Christmas, Steve opened up 30 High Street, Newport, for 10 days before Christmas and decorated the windows with ‘Panicky In the UK’ (featuring posters based in 1977, when Punk Rock arrived on the scene with the slogan ‘Anarchy In The UK’).
Now he has just finished decorating a second shop window at 36 High Street (formerly Laura Ashley) with the same theme.
He added: “This shop was used over Christmas as a pop-up small gift store and it has a short-term occupancy lease. Our display will be taken down on February 15 when the pop-up shop hopes to return. Shops or indoor markets have all been closed due to Covid restrictions but the window display can be viewed from outside.
“Many groups have commented about the negativity of multiple vacated retail outlets in the Island’s main shopping district. So, as part of the Operation Geranium, we wanted to contribute to the community and support the High Street.
“When restrictions are lifted, independent local traders may be willing to return and offer a different sort of shopping experience in Newport.”
Anyone who would like a free Operation Geranium postcard to post to someone can contact Vectis Radio at firstname.lastname@example.org.