The Town Crier and Cllr Pat West look on while Jane Storer speaks at the re-opening of the shop in Goodworth Clatford.
With some help from Hampshire County Council and the Parish Council, the residents of the Clatfords bought the shop from its former owner and have re-opened it. Jo Winchcombe, Chair of the Committee, praised all those who had played a key part in the exercise.
"The Clatfords have shown that closure of village shops and Post Offices is not an inevitable process. The tide can be turned and they have done just this."
The committee has chosen Sarah Dowding, Lara Madge and Amanda Roberts-Davies as Shop Managers. They bring a wealth of retail experience and expertise to the shop and will breathe fresh life and new impetus into the running of the shop. They already have detailed plans to revitalise the range of goods offered, including an enhanced range of local produce and delicatessen items. There will be some new items (fresh soups are planned) for sale for the opening with other lines to follow.
Background information - March 2004.
The Clatfords’ Shop Association forges ahead
On the 19th March, a steering committee was formed to manage the transition of the Beehive Stores, Goodworth Clatford, into a community run shop. This follows the decision by its current owner, Jane Storer, to hand on the responsibility.
“Tony and I have been running this shop since 1995 and have recently been finding it more and more difficult to maintain it to ensure its long term viability. Now that Tony has passed away, I am keen that the village is given an opportunity to make a go of this enterprise. It will help to reduce the increasing burden currently on my shoulders”, said Jane Storer, the owner of the Beehive Stores and Post Office.
Plans are advancing rapidly and it is hoped that the change to a community managed and run shop can be done as quickly as possible. Jane will remain as a familiar face behind the counter of the Post Office, ensuring continuity.
Jo Winchcombe, Chairman of The Clatfords’ Shop Association said; “Jane has worked very hard over the past few years and I can understand her need to step back from the long hours and responsibility of shop management. Following the well attended public meeting we had a couple of weeks ago; this new association has a clear mandate to carry the shop forward. It would be such a tragedy if this village and the wider community were to loose this vital local facility.”
Last week, at a special Goodworth Clatford Parish Council Meeting, an award of £1,500 was granted to the shop association committee to meet its start-up costs.