As the majority of you undoubtedly know and fondly remember, Dronfield has enjoyed a long summer of many years, under the peaceful and undisputed reign of our long serving King, J. Sainsbury. His people would happily flock to the palace atop Wreakes Lane, paying tribute at nearly-reasonable prices and showering in the beloved King’s nectar points. Supported in day-to-day affairs by his many Thanes of Co-op, it was widely held in Dronfield and even Unstonian legend that the reign of King Sainsbury would last forever.
The town was changed irrevocably, however, when nearly six months ago today, the Usurper arrived. Hailing from Germany, Aldi Einkauf declared the people of Dronfield free from the purported ‘tyranny’ of their long-serving King, outlining plans to annex land in the heart of the town, mere metres from key industrial figures such as Dronfield Doors and the Indian restaurant whose name nobody can quite keep track of. In uproar, the likes of which Dronfield had never before seen, the town’s citizens expressed slight disappointment at not instead getting a Waitrose (many at this stage would even have settled for a Tesco Express), and subsequently vowed never to betray their loyalty to King Sainsbury at the hands of these German invaders.
But today, nearing the conclusion of the holidaying months of cheap barbecue food and budget cider, is this still the same Dronfield we all know and sometimes rather like? In public, nearly all of the town’s proud housewives still claim steadfast allegiance to our old King. Mere seconds spent in the palace of Sainsbury’s will guarantee an overheard musing that ‘Aldi’s blueberries really aren’t any cheaper, it’s all about their size’, or that ‘Aldi’s staff really were rather rude the one time that Janet went to quickly pick up some ham, but she was only there because she was in a rush and had to pick up the kids’.
Nonetheless, a sinister web of treason lies beneath Dronfield’s sunny, peaceful surface. A stroll or drive past the gates of Aldi reveals not the barren wasteland one would expect, but a car park full of the sensible hatchbacks characteristic of Dronfield’s very own shoppers. In the dead of night, lone customers can be spotted furtively leaving the site, carrier bags in hand, risking the shame of betrayal and perhaps exile from the town itself. As these defecting members of our town grow in numbers, it appears that savings of up to around 15p may be too tempting for many to resist.
What is it then, that is tempting quite so many to place their reputation on the line for the shopping experience of Aldi? Perhaps we have been ignorant to the merits of such German efficiency, trapped instead in the world of small talk and idle browsing that Sainsbury’s has lulled us into – but is this not the British way? Can Sainsbury’s customers really Taste the Difference? Perhaps the excitement of something actually opening in Dronfield is too much to bear? Perhaps it really doesn’t matter all that much and the folk of Dronfield simply have too much time on their hands?
While it currently remains unclear what possesses much of Dronfield to flock to our German invaders, the ever-growing schism makes one thing abundantly obvious – Dronfield is at war.
– Contributing Writer, James Williamson.