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AGAINST the trend of economic gloom, some cheering news for villagers. The village shop at Wilstone is to re-open in March as a commercial operation with new proprietors. The announcement that a new lease has been signed for the vacant shop premises has come as a pleasant surprise, especially after the disappointment experienced by the volunteer community shop project at the end of last year. New owners Tim and Jenny Fitzgerald take over the premises in February and expect to open for business in early March having spent several weeks fitting out. They are Hertfordshire people and presently live in Watford. Tim told Village News that the shop will once more be a proper village stores with groceries, milk and dairy products, delicatessen and gifts. They would also sell teas, coffees

and rolls. Newspapers are being considered and they are seeking an arrangement with the Post Office to sell stamps, though other Post Office services will not be available. Their previous experience of running a village shop in Lincolnshire will certainly come in handy. Tim said: “We very much look forward to meeting and welcoming past and new customers to the re-opening. We intend to build up the business as we go along, and as we find out from customers what they want.”

This is indeed excellent news for these villages. Such a bold endeavour in difficult times will need our active support as paying customers if it is to succeed. So it’s mostly up to us. Look out for news of the opening in our next edition.