TRADERS in Ludlow are going into the most crucial part of the year with their eyes to the skies.

It is not in prayer but in the hope that the summer will make a good showing and the sun shines.

Tish Dockerty, secretary of Ludlow Chamber of Trade, says that the period of the Ludlow Festival and the following month are on a par with Christmas when it comes to importance.

“It is a very important time of the year and I would say that this is on a par with the run up to Christmas,” she said.

“It makes a huge difference if the sun shines and we are crossing our fingers that the weather in good.”

Ludlow will be taking part in a national ‘Independents' Day’ event on Friday July 4.

The idea is to promote the independent traders that give the town its character.

“It is so important that Ludlow does not just become another ‘clone town’ and it is the independent traders that make Ludlow so different and provide the character.

“We do not want Ludlow to become just another town with all the same shops.”

She said that the chamber believes that traditional shops will continue to have a part to play despite the increase of shopping on-line.

“People shop on the internet when they know what they want but they also go shopping as a leisure activity and being able to look around somewhere with a wide range of different types shops is a great attraction.”

Ludlow Chamber of Trade has concerns that the Visitor Information Centre will be scaled down for a period from the end of the summer while changes are made to the building.

She said that eventually the plan is for the Visitor Information Centre to be amalgamated with the Box Office at the Assembly Rooms.

“It is important that there is somewhere in Ludlow that people can go in order to get information about the town,” added Ms Dockerty.