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EAST DEVON:Village shop opens after 20-year wait

Thursday, 03 July 2014

CELEBRATION: Hawkchurch Village Shop committee members, volunteers and residents celebrate the official opening of the store with Councillor Andrew Moulding

CELEBRATION: Hawkchurch Village Shop committee members, volunteers and residents celebrate the official opening of the store with Councillor Andrew Moulding

RESIDENTS of Hawkchurch are celebrating the opening of the first convenience shop the village has seen in 20 years. The new shop, set up in a cabin on land behind the village hall, owned by Derek and Sue Cowling, was officially opened by county councillor Andrew Moulding in front of a large crowd of residents on Saturday. Bob Ott, chairman of the Hawkchurch Village Shop Committee, explained that the last village shop had closed in the 1990s after the ower had died and residents requested a new store duruing consultation for a parish plan. It was agreed two years ago to go ahead with the project and funding was received from Devon County Council, East Devon District Council, Hawkchurch Parish Council and local donations. Before the official opening, Mr ott presented a gift to Mr and Mrs Cowling for allowing the use of their yard for the shop. Councillor Moulding said he had been delighted to assist the village by helping to secure the fudning from Devon County Council. He added: “A village is about community and community is about people, shown by the many people who have come out today.” He then cut a ribbon to officially open the shop, after which residents celebrated with a special cake and refreshments. The village shop stocks essential foods and toiletries, as well as locally made produce including cordials, cakes and eggs. It also stocks local postcard and greetings cards by Rachel McKenzie and Chris Perfect, and a selection of plants outside. The committee is currently looking for more local produce which is unavailable in larger stores to offer in their shop. More volunteers are also needed, either for occasional or regular shifts. The shop currently has 30 volunteers and is open 9am to 12noon Monday to Saturday and 10am to 12.30pm on Sundays. It is hoped to extend opening hours later in the summer to 8.30am to 6.30pm Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturdays and 10am to 12.30pm Sundays. Plans for the future also include taking card payments, as only cash is currently accepted, alcohol, teas and coffees.

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