What a dramatic month February was, weather-wise at least! It’s often a fairly quiet time in the village shop with a sense that we are all waiting out the end of Winter and saving our energies for the Spring. But this year the momentum has kept going through the early months, with extensive roof repairs (fortunately finished before Storm Eunice rolled in) and lots of internal decoration as well as many hours spent by the Management Committee ensuring that all our paperwork is in better than perfect order. And of course, great team work in the shop led by Angus, all the Post Office staff and the volunteers to ensure that we continue to supply all our customers with so much more that might be expected of a small community shop.

We have had several deliveries of new stock to refresh the choices in our grocery department. Angus is particularly excited about the cakes and muffins from Ruby’s Bakery, including such temptations as “Chocolate Rumble”, “Lemon Lush” and (his favourite) Banoffee. Probably best to stock up before they disappear! If your tooth is more savoury than sweet he also recommends the new range of pickles and preserves from Bramble, such as garlic mayonnaise, piccalilli and caramelised onion chutney, all great additions to the cheese board or to pep up winter salads and jacket potatoes.

We are always pleased to welcome visiting dog walkers, cyclists, riders and hikers to the shop to stock up on sandwiches, snacks, chocolate and drinks.  It’s amazing how often they get sidelined by our incredible range of household goods and health products and also by our very special coffee machine, which makes outstanding cappuccinos, lattes, mochas and Americanos as well as a delicious and very popular hot chocolate. Do give it a try if you have not already – highly recommended!

Our long hours, from 6.30 am to 6.30 pm Monday to Saturday, and until 12.30 pm on Sundays, ensure that we are available to early risers and those on their way home from work but do remember that our success depends entirely on community support. If you have the chance please draw our range of services to the attention of your friends and neighbours, perhaps mentioning:

  • Reliable deliveries of newspapers and groceries on a daily basis
  • An incredible range of greetings cards and other stationery items
  • Wines, spirits, beers and every soft drink imaginable
  • Seasonal gifts including chocolates and beautiful plants
  • Special orders – just ask and we will do our best

 We also offer many services at the Post Office counter, including:

  • Cash deposit and withdrawal – much more personal than an ATM
  • Foreign currency
  • National and International postage including Mail Order returns
  • Mobile phone, Gas and Electric top-ups

All this seven days a week and always with a smile. Our volunteers are a particularly committed band and we are always delighted to welcome enquiries from new members. If you are thinking of helping, you may be interested to learn that there will be a Volunteers’ Meeting at 7pm at the Village Hall on 7th March. Do give Margaret Bamford a call on 01903 873737 ahead of the meeting and she will be delighted to explain what is involved.

I think that’s about it for another month so I’m just off to check that Angus hasn’t eaten all the cakes!

Annie Whitchurch