June Update – opened for the first time on June 3rd


including URC Chapel


The conversion work is complete! The Shop & PO is fitted out! The managers have been recruited! The first batch of volunteers are trained! The initial stock has arrived! We remain on time, within budget, and raring to go! What next?

The present facilities close: The last day of operation of the current Post Office will be Thu 30 May and the Village Shop will close midday Fri 31 May.

Over the weekend we will move across to the new premises in the Chapel.

The trial period : Mon 3rd June will be the day the new facilities open for a three week trial period. This will give us a chance to learn to walk before we run (remember we all novices!) and gauge your reaction to the new set up. So we will be starting with much the same range of goods that the present shop stocks – and then add stock holdings steadily in response to your feedback – that way we avoid expensive mistakes. Similarly, we will be starting with much the same range of services as Robert Fry currently offers, and then – as we gain competence and confidence we will add more and more services based on your feedback and the number of volunteers available to supply them. Thus the shop’s stock & facilities will steadily grow in the period leading up to the Official Opening date (22 June) which will be marked by the opening of the new Coffee Shop.


Please treat us gently during this run-in period: this is YOUR Community Shop – run by the community for the community – and we need to take these first few weeks at a pace that ensures we can worktogether with you – and vice versa – to mould the new shop into something we ALL want. Please come along and practice on us – but not all at once! We want to hear what YOU think about the layout, the services available and the stock on the shelves – and we will adjust to your needs accordingly.This trial period will be a time for suggestions (rather than complaints!) – and what we end up with by the end of the 3 weeks will depend as much on your input and cooperation as ours 🙂


The official opening: Sat 22nd June will be the day of the official opening ceremony.Please come along at11a.m.whenTerry Pratchett will cut the tape and open the new coffee shop in the presence of local MPs John Glen and Claire Perry and as many members of the local community who can make it. All will be welcome and refreshments will be served.



95% of you said (in the village questionnaire) that you wanted a Village Shop & PO to continue when Robert Fry retires.

The new Shop is funded by the Community, and will be run by & for the Community.

All we ask now is that the Community USE IT and work with us to make it a success.




 Our Supplies: We will initially be stocking the full range of products held by the present Village Shop. However, as we cannot incorporate a full butcher’s shop we will be stocking fresh meat from local farms and suppliers instead. As a community shop, our produce will be sourced from local suppliers as much as practicable.We will be trialling their products in the shop over the first few weeks – so let us know which ones you prefer. We have bought in an initial batch of staple goods–based on what is currently held by Robert Fry and recommended by our whole sales supplier–but again, we will be monitoring sales of every item and asking you what we have missed – that way we will be able to steadily move towards holding a full range of staple goods–fresh, frozen and tinned – including fresh bread and cakes, wines, newspapers and magazines – all in response to community feedback.

Our Services: Once we have completed the trial period, the full range of services on offer in the new Hub will include:

  • The Valley Stores, incorporating shop, post office and coffee shop
  • Distribution point for newspapers, collection point for dry cleaning.
  • Venue for informal gatherings and meetings.
  • Village Archives, Information Exchange and Cyber Cafe.

And of course on going facilities for religious worship and meetings.

Opening Times for Trial Period (3-22 June)

Shop: In response to overwhelming feedback so far, we have decided to jump straight in at the deep end and offer a full-day service, 6 days a week as follows:


We will review these timings, in light of customer usage, at the end of the trial period.

Post Office: The new Post Office will initially offer exactly the same hours as at present one i.e.Mon, Tue, Thu 9am–1pm. Our hope is that the increased footfall in the shop will enable us eventually to open the Post Office full time.

Coffee Shop: Will open 22 June offering fresh tea & coffee and  a range of delicious  home-made  cakes  and  biscuits.  Opening  hours  thereafter  to  be decided based on customer feedback.




Who’s Who?

This has been a true community initiative.A vast number of people have been involved in getting us this far,and will be involved in managing the Hub going forward including:


🙂 DEFRA & EU (Sowing Seeds) – who have provided a substantial Rural Development Grant and Wiltshire Council with a local supporting grant.

🙂 The Plunkett Foundation, Community First & Senator Marketing – who have provided professional advice.

🙂 Over 230 members of the community who have bought shares.

🙂 A further 50 or so members of the community who have made donations.

🙂 Over 40 volunteers who have signed up so far to help in the shop.

*** We could do with a few more volunteers and you will be made most welcome***


🙂 Our Volunteer Coordination Group – who have worked tirelessly to organise and help train our volunteers:Ray Collins, Jan Fowler, Ann Ferreira, Emma Verdin.

🙂 Our Professional Advisors – who have given their professional services absolutely free including, but not limited to:Martin Altham (IT), Frances Bowen (Retail), David Gilbert (Works), Nicola Goodridge (Personnel), Peter & Chrissy Harris (Health, Safety & Fire), Chris Littlemore (Design & Planning), Andrew Wiltshire (Legal).

🙂 The Management Committee – who will take the company forward:

  • Secretariat: Ashley Truluck (Chairman), Henry Flint (Finance Director), Michael Roe (Company Secretary)
  • Retail Team: Shosh Hobbs & Nick Lowe
  • Village Reps: Brian Mascall (Bowerchalke), Hugh Pelly (Ebbesbourne Wake), Rachel Sykes (Alvediston)
  • Ex Officio: Rev Julian Thomas (URC), Rob Wilkins.
  • The Hub Staff: Ellen Smets (Retail Manager), Nigel Tinkler (Facilities Manager), Richard James (Postmaster), Helen Atkinson (Benefice Administrator), Amber Cotton (Book-Keeper), Stephen & Caroline Mouland (Grounds & Cleaning)

…and a great number of other people up and down the valley who have given us help

and advice. To each and every one we say a sincere: THANK YOU!