Hasn’t September been glorious!  True to form, the best weather waited until the schools went back before making an appearance.  The Sheep Fair probably coincided with the hottest day of the year.  My word!  It was so hot!  I hope you visited the shop’s stall, brilliantly situated in one of the few shady places on the Green.  Wonderful planning, intentional or not!  There was no excuse for not seeing the stall.  Apart from it being the place everyone headed for to get out of the sun, the balloons, QAVS banners and admirably constructed shop sign made our stall look magnificent. Although there were a number of challenges – not least the scarcity of power sources and an unfamiliar till’s tantrums (thank you so much, Helen, our wonderful deputy manager, for being on hand to patiently restore equilibrium) – committee members and volunteers demonstrated great resourcefulness and coped admirably.  Despite the heat, we still sold as many Danish pastries and sausage rolls as ever, and, because of the heat, we sold huge volumes of iced coffee.  Delicious, especially on the hottest day of the year.  Nor did sales at the shop suffer because of the Sheep Fair – copious amounts of ice cream and soft drinks were sold throughout the day.  Thank you to everyone who helped in any way – it was a big success all round!     

Talking of the hot weather we’ve been enjoying, a few of us may have been tempted to stay a bit longer in the cold store than usual.  But I don’t think any of us would want to outstay our welcome.  I did read this month of an employee of a national chain who got locked in the walk-in freezer for two and a half hours, before being discovered ‘in a distressed state’ (understatement of the year!) by a colleague.  Fortunately, she was ok, but was treated for suspected hypothermia. The chain was fined for a health and safety offence – rightly so.  But my reason for reporting the incident here is to say there is no chance of anyone getting locked in our cold store.  Firstly, it’s possible to get out if the door shuts behind you, and, secondly, you’d be missed!  If a volunteer disappeared for any time while doing their shift, they’d be a search party straight away.  The shop needs and notices every volunteer.  So, no need to worry that that might happen to you.  The other thing I need to say is that our committee works very hard to ensure that we are fully compliant with the latest health and safety regulations (no small task).  

A big thank you to Gaby Shaw, who has been working at the shop but is now leaving to go to Portsmouth University.  Congratulations!  We have seen Gaby grow in both ability and confidence whilst she has been here, and we wish her all the best for her next step.  And a big welcome to Ella Geal, who will be taking over Gaby’s shift.  Ella has already shown herself to be a reliable employee.  We hope you are very happy working here.  

Other shop news.  We will of course be stocking extra bits and pieces for Hallowe’en at the end of the month – but please don’t leave it until the end of the month to buy anything you might want, because we might well sell out, and we’d hate you to be disappointed.  

Sssh!  My last piece of news is hush hush!  The prices of first class and large stamps are going up on 2nd October.  So, if you read this before 2nd, it might be good to buy any stamps for Christmas cards and the like sooner rather than later.  But Royal Mail might not want a rush on their stamps just before they increase the price, so don’t tell them I told you!  

Jean Burden