Running the gauntlet of New Street

On Friday I had the pleasure of walking up New Street. Nothing unusual I hear you cry…. but have you done this recently? If you go from one end to the other it is scary just how many people will accost you with clipboards…  The second lot on Friday were from Unicef – so I felt ok to stop. But after giving them my address, email, phone number and god knows what else I felt an unease about how many people have my details… So then I  managed to avoid the ladies with the soap powder survey (what?), the ‘have you ever taken a stress test’ bunch, and a couple of others who I didn’t stick around long enough to hear what they were saying…. I did buy a Big Issue though – I don’t mind that but I do wonder how all these people with clipboards are acceptable on the streets of Brum when those of us who want to promote cultural events in the city are discouraged by the cost of a license… 

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8 thoughts on “Running the gauntlet of New Street

  1. john says:

    It is a concern,
    Nearly had a row with some the other week on New St when a bunch of 3 made some sarcastic remarks after I had explained politely as I dashed by that I was in a rush, as I was. I went back and asked for their id and which company they worked for, they were most evasive and wouldn’t show or tell me anything but accused me of assaulting them – good for cctv I thought to myself. Won’t do though, don’t need to be insulted by some husslers when about one’s business. I know, don’t say it…

  2. Annie says:

    They got the name Chuggers for a reason! I take the view that I’ll support the causes I want to support, not just those who manage to make eye contact with me.

  3. pault says:

    I walk down New Street nearly every day, and I agree that the number of hawkers is incredibly annoying. It’s time the council did something about it.
    You’re right to avoid the ‘stress test’ lot – they’re Scientologists venturing from their HQ (or is it ‘Mother Ship’) on Ethel Street.

  4. clareedwards says:

    Ah – that is who they are! My stock answer if one of them catches me usually is when they ask me ‘Have you ever taken a stress test’ is to grin cheerfully and say “Nope – I don’t need to – I love my life!”

    Usually shuts them up….

    My real problem with all of these people is how they interrupt my daydreaming as I walk through town…

  5. Simon Howes says:

    I hate the people who say “have you had an accident in the last 18 months”. They then jump in front of you to make you stop, you dodge to avoid them however they have made a line or box of three or four of them to block you. I walk down New Street everyday and it pisses me off.

    I have horror stories of being stalked by the scientologists on New Street. I was going to the Post Office by Victoria Square, where I was stopped and asked if I would like undertake a “stress test”. I replied “I do not like your cult”. I was then followed by two men and a women to the Post Office, where two waited outside and one at the back of the office. I then thought they were onto me, so when I left to go back to Millennium Point I went on a detour out the back entrance of the Post Office and then via Snowhill and Aston Uni. Boom, one of them appeared at the back entrance. As I reached corporation street I noticed they were still behind me, however one of them had a digital SLR camera and was taking photos of me over the road. The man with the camera then got closer and was 3m away and in front of me, again photos of me. I then reached Millennium Point, a good two mile walk, where he was stood outside the entrance cherishing his camera, I spoke to security and they took him to one side. They forced him to remove all the photos off his camera. A few days later, the women was outside when I left, with a camera! Security this time took action and banned them from Millennium Point. I have had no problems since, however I do get worried they may have done something similar to somebody else. Freaks and stalkers!!

  6. Andy Derrick says:

    Ah yes, the Charity Muggers. I found that carrying my own clipboard and asking them the same questions they ask me to be effective. I also considered using the tactic I use for unsolicited phone calls starting with one liners like:

    “Thank God you called, I was so lonely” and

    “What are you wearing underneath those clothes?”

    Hey ho.

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