Posted in Personal life

The Unsung Services of Our Village Shop

(Originally written for the March edition of the Hawkesbury Parish News, this post praises our village shop and encourages people everywhere to shop local)

Photo of the entrance to the Hawkesbury Shop
Shop this way….

“I’m sending you a tall dark handsome man.”

So I was told when I popped in to the Hawkesbury Shop to collect my regular Hobbs House bread order the other week. Hmm, now there’s a new service I didn’t know about, I thought, wondering what my husband would make of it.

I run the shop’s secondhand book stall, in aid of the village school PTA and the village shop

It turned out that the staff had been chatting to a new customer who had recently moved to the area. When they discovered he was writing a book, they told him he ought to meet me, as they knew I help fellow authors publish and promote their books. The result: I’ve acquired a new and interesting friend, who I’ve introduced to other friends, including some who are helping him find accommodation.  And the shop has another satisfied customer.

Photo of local cakes for sale
Supporting local traders

This episode illustrates just one of many unsung services offered by our village shop. Earlier this week I discovered another one. When the school bus was an hour late on a very cold Monday morning, the children whose parents had already left for work were allowed to wait safely inside the shop till the bus eventually appeared. How comforting for working parents to know that in such a crisis, the shop steps into the rescue.

So support your local shop, folks, because it supports our village community in so many ways, often with no financial reward. Tesco and co, take note: kindness to customers is one thing that money can’t buy.

Shelf of fresh loaves
Bread from the famous Hobbs House Baker Boys


Author of warm, witty and gently funny fiction and non-fiction, including the popular Sophie Sayers Village Mystery series, beginning with "Best Murder in Show", inspired by her life in an English Cotswold community, short stories and essays about country life. As Commissioning Editor for the Alliance of Independent Authors' Advice Centre, she writes guidebooks authors. She speaks at many literature festivals and writing events, and is part of BBC Radio Gloucestershire's monthly Book Club broadcast. She is founder and director of the free Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival which takes place in April, a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association, and an ambassador for children's reading charity Read for Good and the Type 1 diabetes charity JDRF.

3 thoughts on “The Unsung Services of Our Village Shop

  1. This is very timely Debbie in the week that our village shop has sadly announced it is to close. I don’t think people will realise what they have lost until it is just too late.

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