Come and celebrate the launch of the new Create the Vibe heart of Thames 15 March 2021 The sun has been shining on the new outdoor community space on Mary Street in Thames since it opened two weeks ago and the forecast for its launch event this Friday is looking good. (Photo: Bollards now in at the Mary St space) Come to the Create the Vibe space from 5:30pm for music, a sausage sizzle, bake sale, Mr Whippy cones and fresh food and drink from Villager café, which is staying open late for the occasion. The orange fences have been replaced by new bollards and rope. Last week the umbrellas were put up and it was awesome to see the community enjoy the games that were out. “I’ve never bought as much sushi as I have in the last week since we’ve had a great spot to sit and eat it," says a member of the public who posted on our Council's Instagram account. "It was so nice to sit and enjoy the buskers last Saturday. I'm looking forward to the grand opening event," they posted. "I love it. I never used that intersection because it was a nightmare. Looks like a nice place to sit and chat. Can't wait to try it out. Kind of exciting there's something new in Thames," says another Thames local who commented on our Facebook. Thanks to everyone who’s posting and sharing their feedback as to what they think is working, and what could be improved. We’ll be taking this all on board and reviewing it to see what changes need to be made. (Right: the community enjoying games in the new hub last week) One initiative we've brought in is on sunny days, bean bags and games will be brought out to the public space for the community to enjoy. Bring your lunch, or purchase it from a local business, and play some Connect Four, Jenga and Skittles. On Friday last week, some buskers were out making the most of the area and the beautiful day. For those wanting to use the space, make sure you refer to the Activities in Public Places Bylaw before engaging in any activities. Do you want to share your feedback on the public space? Our container HQ days are starting this week, Thursday 18 March. They will be held every Thursday until 22 April 2021 and our staff will be there from 10am-3pm to chat and write down your feedback. Book the container The container is available for community groups to use, it can be used for displays, fundraising and whatever you see fit. If you're interested, you can email an enquiry to email@example.com. Find out more on our website. Safer pedestrian crossings As part of this new space, red strips (pictured right) have been painted across Mary and Pollen streets at the intersection, where many people cross. These are courtesy crossings, not formal pedestrian 'zebra crossings'. The New Zealand Road Code states that a courtesy crossing is not an official pedestrian crossing and drivers don't have to stop to allow pedestrians to cross as they would at zebra crossings, but drivers must give way to people already crossing at these points. The zebra pedestrian crossings half a block down Pollen Street in either direction are where pedestrians have the right of way to cross. The red strips at the Mary/Pollen Street intersection contain the message "Stop Look" to remind people to check for vehicles and then cross only when it's safe to do so. It's also a visual reminder to drivers to slow down and be more careful around pedestrians crossing at this busy intersection. More information about the “Create the Vibe Thames” shared public space is on our Council’s website. Re-store - another way to live (Above: Vita (left) and Tash (right), owners of Re-Store) Over the next two months, while the trial of the new Create the Vibe public space is on, we’ll be profiling local businesses in Thames. In our last update, we shone the spotlight on a new café – the Villager. Today, we showcase a different kind of business in the heart of Thames. Tash and Vita, owners of Re-store, were frustrated by the amount of plastic that was filling their shopping trolleys. As two busy mums, they wanted the best for their families and were looking for ways to shop sustainably, yet locally, so they started their own business. The doors to Re-store opened in April 2019 and their first birthday was celebrated at home last year during lockdown. That's when they kept themselves busy as an essential service with local contactless deliveries. “We wanted to create a space where people enjoyed their weekly shop. Where they could slow down, rethink their shopping style and reconnect with their food choices and other like-minded people in the community,” say Tash and Vita. The store (pictured right) sells a large range of bulk food products. It includes all of your pantry staples, household refills of cleaning and personal care products, sustainable and re-usable items, delicious Kombucha on tap, fresh handmade sourdough and plenty of other products for you to choose from. Their range is constantly growing: dry pet food should join the line-up this week and the pair are open to suggestions of more items to add to their new fridge and freezer. You can keep up to date with new stock and other offers on their Facebook page, Re-store. “Living a more eco life can seem daunting to people. The biggest key is to start slow, find one or two areas where you can make an eco-friendlier swap and start there,” say Tash and Vita. They are open six days a week, closing Sunday for family time, so don’t be surprised if you see them out enjoying our beautiful district with their families. They have recently launched their website re-store.co.nz where you can order groceries online to pick up, or have delivered anywhere around the North Island. If you’re in town, pop in and say hi to Tash and Vita, pick up a keep cup for your coffee, and a snack, and enjoy the new vibe in Thames.