I was lucky enough yesterday to be invited inside the premises of one of the best known Harrogate brands by the boss himself.
Harrogate Spring Water’s bottling plant may gleam with high technology and quiet efficiency but it’s no modern-day Dr No’s lair.
James Cain had kindly offered me half an hour to run through what this successful firm was doing as part of a growing war on plastic waste.
I’m pleased to report that this passionate managing director isn’t the only leading figure in Harrogate taking major steps in an environmentally friendly direction.
I’m as green as the next man, maybe more so, and I have to say the reusuable coffee cup I bought earlier in the year has proven a godsend.
Not only does it mean I no longer contribute to the mountain of ‘disposable’ paper coffee cups lined with plastic polyethylene which end up as landfill, it’s also very handy.
Each day I use it to grab my morning caffeine boost from a café on Otley Road located nicely on the way to work.
Not on Tuesday, however. After pushing the door open and sauntering in, I realised I’d left the thing a home.
What to do?
“Can I have an Americano, please. Black. In a paper cup.”
Nothing much seems to have happened as a result of what felt at the time like an important meeting at Major Tom’s Social bar in January.
The idea was that Harrogate’s independent sector should work together for their own and the town’s good.
The turnoutwas impressive but agreement on how to move forward proved tricker.
But there has been progress since then.
As the launch of Women on Tap beer festival at the Little Ale House last night showed, there’s still plenty of momentum behind the ‘indies’.
On Saturday afternoon I bumped into the owner of the latest new independent in Harrogate after I’d popped into a wine fair at the Hotel du Vin to talk to the owners of Ake & Humphris, another independent.
For a micro-brewery, Cold Bath Brewing Co is already thinking big.
This fledgling business’s first hand-crafted lager is already stocked by long-standing independent names such as William & Vics and the Drum and Monkey.
The owner also told me the brewery was considering setting a pop-up bar on the street next to its new premises, what was once Cartridge World on King’s Road- as long as it didn’t break any rules.
On paper, at least, getting permission from the relevant authorities doesn’t sound much of a stretch.
Especially when I noticed on saying ‘cheerio’ and heading into the town centre that a forest of furniture for sale was filling the pavement from St Peter’s Church and HSBC on Cambridge Street as part of the street market.