HALSTOCK VILLAGE SHOP Phone: 01935 891 781
Halstock Community Shop & Post Office is seeking a part-time Assistant Manager to join the present team of full- time manager and deputy manager, and volunteers. You will be expected to be numerate and well presented. Tasks will include working in the Post Office (training given) operate checkout, taking on specific areas of delegated responsibility from the Manager according to skills and experience. Retail experience helpful but not essential.
Email your cv to email@example.com by 1st June
Welcome to Halstock Village Shop and Post Office, run by the community, for the community.
Whatever you want, we probably sell it! If not we'll do our best to get it.
All the basics - newspapers, a wide selection of magazines, milk, locally baked bread from the bakery on the A303, local produce including Liberty Orchards balsamic vinegar and Sam's sausages, produced here in Halstock, and some of the best offers on wine in the area!
Plus those irritating odds and ends that you run out of, like batteries, clothes pegs, balls of string, bin bags and reading glasses.
And we don't stop at selling you things! Whether it's looking at the latest topical window displays, checking the football results, picking up your prescription, having a cup of coffee or just catching up on village gossip, we have it.
Shop opening hours : Post Office :
Monday 8.00am to 6.00pm Open from 9.00am to 1.00pm
Tuesday 8.00am to 6.00pm * Monday to Friday
Wednesday 8.00am to 6.00pm
Thursday 8.00am to 6.00pm
Friday 8.00am to 6.00pm
Saturday 8.00am to 6.00pm*
Sunday 8.00am to 12.00noon
At present closed from 2pm to 4pm.
The current building which, was built in 2001, is owned by Halstock Village Shop Ltd, a community owned not for profit organisation. On February 1 the company also took over the running of the shop as a community enterprise.
Any surplus profits are ploughed back into the community through Halstock Village Trust.
The shop has been operating in its present format since 1st February 2013.
It is managed on a day to day basis by the manager, Barry Dennis and two assistant managers, Graham Bryan and Penny Whittingham, with oversight from the Shop Committee of Halstock Village Shop limited.
Additional help in running the shop comes from a team of between 12 and 20 volunteers, who generally work between three and eight hours a week.
There has been a community owned shop in Halstock in various locations since 1991.
June 2022 Update
June; midsummer madness; the most daylight hours in the year – the shame is that it lasts for only 30 days. So what do we look forward to in this month? Roses and honeysuckle? Strawberries and cream, to accompany our tennis watching? Or just some warm sunny weather
Fathers day on 19th and there are plenty of cards in the shop for dad, and its the queen’s official birthday this month, and celebrations to celebrate the Queens platinum Jubilee are in store for local residents on June 5. (Info on village website www.halstock-village.co.uk ) Plenty of picnic ideas in the shop. June 25th is National Take Your Dog To Work Day. ( If your boss will play ball!) So pooch will need a supply of treats to keep him/her well behaved in the office, or wherever.
It is still cold as I write but I’m thinking long evenings in June will be here soon with BBQ’s, beer and wine and cocktails too on the patio. So check out our selection of wines and beers and ciders? Hopefully your favourites will be among them. And if not our wonderful staff will do their best to get it for you. Then you will need to choose from our enhanced range of nibbles and crackers and biscuits, and maybe the cheeses to go with.
If its presents you want don’t forget the multi-store gift cards available at the post office. We also have interesting presentation packs of stamps such as Spitfire Women, Heroes of Covid Pandemic and History of the FA cup, all tastes catered for!
Whatever madness you are getting up to this month – enjoy!
On behalf of the Community Shop Committee. May 9 2022
Halstock Village Shop
Welcome to May, named after the Greek goddess Maia, goddess of fertility. The gemstone of the month is the emerald and the flower is the Lily of the Valley, although Hawthorn or May blossom is seen in profusion this month
May usually sees the weather getting warmer, although I can remember snow in May and it is wise to cover any tender plants at night. Something similar applies to us - “ne’er cast a clout till May be out” as the saying goes. Traditionally May is an unlucky month in which to get married - “Marry in May and you’ll rue the day” is another proverb. Sorry if I’ve just spoilt someone’s plans!
I was going to write about the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, but they are in June, so I will leave that for Bardy. However, I’m sure you will be making preparations (apart from me, I’m on holiday in France) so look out for party items and start getting in the food and drink! We do have a bank holiday on 2nd May, so you’ve got an excuse. Many of you will be planning barbeques and other outdoor events throughout the month, so ask us if you want to order food. The shop will have a Jubilee window display and there might even be some special offers if Barry is feeling generous.
You may have noticed that our sales of plants outside the shop have started again, courtesy of Quiet Woman Plants, who keep us supplied. We also have fresh local flowers for sale, from Cut Flowers by Kate, at West Chelborough. Please continue to support them both and look out for seeds and other garden sundries in the shop.
We have settled down with our fruit and veg supplies now, and are usually able to offer good quality produce at a reasonable price. Everything else, unfortunately, continues to go up in price.
But with the increasing cost of fuel, it may still be cheaper to get a few items from us than to drive to the supermarket in Yeovil. And a lot less hassle!
Although it was only two months ago that I wrote here about rising prices, the trend is continuing I’m afraid, but on the whole supply is settling down and we don’t have quite so many empty spaces on the shelves. And it does give us the opportunity to look for different lines, some of which may be new to you.
So we’re looking forward to seeing all our regular customers and some new ones this coming month.
on behalf of the Community Shop Committee April 10 2022
April 2022 Update
“Oh, to be in England now that April’s there”. Robert Browning’s words sum-up for so many of us the feelings we share about this most optimistic of months. Of course, when he wrote that Browning was in Italy, but here in beautiful Dorset we can enjoy the promise of April to the full, come sunshine or showers.
April was called ‘Aprillis’ by the Romans and the name derives from Aperire, ‘to open’ - perhaps denoting the month when trees and flowers begin to bloom. At the shop in April, we shall have our customary attractive display of spring flowers and plants, provided by Kate and her barrow. They always make such a delightfully colourful show outside our door, with a wide choice, for gifts or for planting. At such hard-to-beat prices, it’s often difficult to know what to choose.
The longer days are likely to see our first real forays into the garden, of course, gathering up the leaf mold for future use or just tidying up generally, before planting out as the days get warmer. Here at the shop, you’ll discover a fine display of seeds to choose from, as well as gloves, compost, garden twine and other sundry garden needs. Always check us out first.
If you were born in April, you’ll probably know that your birth flower is the humble daisy. Your birth stone, on the other hand, is the diamond - something to mention to a loved one perhaps! But being realistic, a simple mention of our excellent range of birthday cards would be more likely to produce a result. Whatever the month or the event, we always offer a wide choice of cards for every occasion. And our range also includes Easter cards of course, and we’ve a good supply of Easter eggs too, with hot cross buns to complete your Easter enjoyment.
Easter Day falls on Sunday 17th April this year, part of that cherished 4-day spring weekend when you might, with luck, fit in an early barbecue, or even a cheeky picnic. Make sure you’ve got your charcoal from our supply, as well as hot dogs, tasty burgers, or some of Sam’s delicious, locally made sausages. And we have a great choice of beers and many excellent value wines to complement your barbecue and picnic fare, all here on your doorstep.
Last month, Diana reminded us of the opportunity to use the shop’s attractive bow-windows to promote popular events and projects happening in our busy village. Perhaps you have a favourite cause to inform everyone about? There’s no charge for this service, just as long as your proposal is non-profitmaking and serves the community. Rachel at the shop does a heroic job in pulling these displays together and she can suggest when a window will be available or advise on the layout, and even help with props. Do call in to discuss your ideas with her.
No mention of April could pass without a reference to April Fools Day. A tradition whose origin is more than a little lost in antiquity, but which may even go back to Geoffrey Chaucer. However, if you lived in France, where similar pranks happen on April 1st, you could find yourself being called an ‘April Fish’ (poisson d’avril’), the only explanation for which appears to relate to fishermen - forbidden to catch fish during the spawning season - being given a fake fish as a consolation. Let’s hope Barry’s ideas for April Fool jokes this year, don’t involve fish!
Enjoy this lovely month as we look forward to seeing you at the shop, whatever your reason for calling by.
Tony Hill, On behalf of the Shop Committee
8 March ‘22
March 22 Update
Bardy told us in February that the March Hares would soon be getting active. This is a sign of their mating season when they obviously all get very excited. It is thought that their boxing is the females fighting off the males - makes sense! The birds are starting to think about mating and nest building as well. Even today in early February I heard two robins in my garden competing for territory in a singing contest. Contrary to our image of a cuddly little bird, they can be very fierce and physically attack each other over territory and mates,
March 21st sees the Spring Equinox, when the days become longer than the nights and we can really feel spring is here. Flowers are coming out everywhere, especially the daffodils which cheer everyone up. I particularly like to see the wild ones in the woods, so delicate but looking so brave! Easter is in April this year, but don’t forget Mothering Sunday on 27th March - as usual we will have a great selection of cards and chocolates, or why not think about cooking her a special meal?
One of the best things about our village shop is the windows, hats off to the building’s architect
for making a feature of them. The ever-changing displays provide a talking point for customers and passers-by, and hopefully attract people to visit the shop. Just as importantly, they are a source of information.
We regularly have displays for upcoming village events like films in the village hall and Artsreach productions, or the village Fete and Flower Show. A window display can encourage you to take part in the annual Litter Pick or inform you about the work of your local council. There have been displays about doing the Garden Birdwatch, surveying the local hedgehog population or walking local footpaths. Window displays are regularly a showcase for the Art group or the Photography club.
But we suspect there must be lots of other activities going on out there that we don’t even know about, and groups or individuals who would love to tell us all what you have been up to. If you think you might like to do a window, maybe with some help, why not pop into the shop and talk to Rachel? She can advise you on layout, lend you some props from the large collection amassed over the years and tell you what dates are free. Or if you feel you have a bent for doing displays, or there’s something you are passionate about, why not have a go at doing a topical window yourself - again talk to Rachel.
Finally, our stock, this is a shop after all. Although we no longer have the shortages experienced in the lockdown, there are still items which we are inexplicably unable to obtain. Please be patient, we are doing our best! We also sadly, along with so many other retailers, have to put up many of our prices. But hopefully we continue to provide friendly and helpful service.
On behalf of the Shop Committee 8 Feb 2022
Our home delivery service is now operating on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The shop is closed between 2.00 and 4.00 on those days to facilitate this.
Call the shop during these times to make an order.
Click the button for the ITV video.
February 2022 Update
Time to stop mentioning Covid, wherever we are with restrictions we will all know them, obey them, and hope and pray for healthier times. Village life continues.
February, and in the middle is Valentines. By the 14th there is a change in the light and a real promise in the air, early daffodils braving wind and rain, primroses too, and early tulips, camellias sheltering from morning frost, or maybe succumbing, like mine inevitably do, to give a brown blob rather than pink joy.
Plenty of pink joy in the shop by way of cards, and chocs, plants and other goodies to give your loved ones; also a good choice of ingredients for a romantic supper, and the tipple to go with it.
However not all of us are romantics and February can be a bit of a dull month, one where sitting indoors and curling up with a good book is a definite temptation. Give in to it. Books are in the Community Room, and there is a huge range of magazines and puzzle books on the shop shelves. The braver amongst us may be planning a holiday abroad so a travel leaflet from the post office will give you ideas on managing your travel finance. And while you are there, for a little nostalgia, pick up a Rolling Stones stamp presentation pack.
Back to February which was in ancient times the month of purification! In Old English it was called Solmonath, which means ‘mud month’, though why February is any different from November to March in that respect I don’t know. If, like me, you are battling with muddy dogs, more purification needed, in the form of floor cleaners, polish, washing powder, cleaning cloths and many more products – a good range always available, check out the shelves and for purification read SPRING CLEANING!
With the coldest months of the year ahead a visit to us to choose your latest toasty hat and gloves may be a prudent move.
Above all lets be grateful that this cold, muddy, mostly grey month only gives us 28 days before those March Hares get busy.
Bardy Griffiths. On behalf of the Community Shop Committee.
January 8 2022
January 2022 Update
Halstock Village Shop committee would like to wish all our staff, volunteers, customers and suppliers the very best for 2022. If you read this before December 31st, why not pop in for a bottle (or two) and some accompaniments to see the New Year in! As usual we stock a really good range. Whether or not you see the New Year in, don’t forget that we have a great stock of warm hats, gloves and socks.
At the time of writing everything is very much up in the air again and I’m certainly not going to try to predict the next developments in the Covid pandemic. What I can do is to assure you that shop staff and volunteers will continue to work hard to keep the shop as well stocked as possible, and to look after all our customers’ needs.
Currently you are legally required to wear a face covering in shops,(apart from exemptions) so please work with us to obey this requirement and any others that may be in force. We have to try to follow what the government tells us, so please cooperate with us, we don’t make the rules!
We are aware that the extra trade during the pandemic has taken its toll on the shop fittings and decor and we are planning some improvements over the next few months - more details to follow. One recent improvement you will have noticed is the picnic table outside the shop front - why not get a coffee from the machine in the Community Room, and something from our wide range of cakes and pastries, and take a few minutes to sit watching the world go by or to chat to passing acquaintances.
A special thank you is due to Graham who spent a Sunday afternoon assembling the picnic table, without any swearing that I heard, and who has also recently made bookshelves for the Community Room and display racks for the shop.
Finally, I would like to pay a tribute to Betty Harris following her death in October. After running the previous village shop, she was a tireless force in planning and fund raising for the shop in it’s present building. She was a constant inspiration in so many ways and we owe her a big debt.
On behalf of the Shop Committee 6 Dec 2021
We continue to deliver to a few customers who find it difficult to do their shopping in person. Thank you Tony Woodroffe and David Warner for doing the deliveries. Do remember that it has always been our policy to deliver to anyone who needs help, so don’t be afraid to give the shop a call should you become housebound and need supplies.
With Christmas rapidly approaching our Post Office counter (open 9am to 1pm weekdays) is a very convenient place to buy stamps. You still have time, but just another reminder that the last postage dates for UK inland are Tuesday 21st for 1st class, and Saturday 18th for 2nd class. Of course, we have a wide range of Christmas cards to put them on, and also plenty of wrapping paper.
If you are planning for Seasonal food, we have a good selection of baking essentials, including sparkly bits for the top of cakes, however if baking is not your thing, we also have cakes and mince pies. Perhaps at this time of the year you ‘raise a glass’ just a little bit more than usual, well, our shop has a wide range wines, beers and spirits at very competitive prices. We will be taking orders for milk, bread, veg and most other goods, see details in the shop. Also, keep an eye out for advertisements in store for the contents of Village Shop Hampers. We are thinking of providing some for pets as well as a couple of speciality ones!
There will be a range of colourful Christmas gift items, made by our talented local artists and craft people, on sale in the Community Room later in December. Look in anytime and enjoy a coffee while you browse.
December is also a time for making New Year Resolutions, many of which are often broken before the end of January! If our shop was to make one, it would be to provide our customers with the very best service we can in a friendly and helpful way. I sincerely believe that this ‘resolution’ will be kept throughout next year, and for many years to come.
From all of us involved in the running of the shop may I wish you Seasons Greeting and Best Wishes for 2022.
Robert Wilkinson (On behalf of the Halstock Shop Committee)
November 3 2021
November 2021 Update
It has been difficult to know what season we are in this year, Barry has been stocking ice cream and cold drinks alongside winter warmers; little doubt though that by the time of reading this we will be in cold wet winter. On a brighter note this time last year we were in lockdown for the second time; well Covid is not over, but we are able to socialise so light a sparkler or two and have the hot dogs, and beef burgers round the bonfire with nearest and dearest. With maybe a drop of mulled wine to help it down? And see if the shop has got a small pumpkin to help the ambiance. If you are reading this in time for Halloween get your supply of sweets so you don’t get caught out by the trick and treaters.
We have some new volunteers, so if you see a fresh face, introduce yourself. We are not worried about how the new volunteers will get on with the various tasks, but rather whether they can cope with Barry’s jokes.
Christmas is on the horizon and your international parcels may need to be packed and ready to go before the next issue of this great publication!
International Economy is 1st November for USA and Canada, and 26th November for Cyprus Eastern Europe, Greece, Iceland, Malta and Turkey.
Royal Mail Xmas UK Inland services: Last recommended postal dates
Sat 18th December, 2nd class, 2nd class signed for.
Tues 21st December1st class signed for.
Thursday 23rd Special delivery guaranteed.
There are many other specific dates for Parcel Force or Royal mail Services Worldwide, so pick up a leaflet when you are next in the shop, so as not to disappoint your friends and relatives
Keep an eye in store for our Christmas postage leaflets which will appear this month and indeed not long after, our Christmas stamps ....will they be old fashioned or maybe a totally modern design?
Meanwhile keep warm, thermals available, wooly hats, gloves, and torches.
On behalf of the Community Shop Committee. Oct 9 2021
HALSTOCK VILLAGE SHOP
October is a month of mixed emotions. It is a month of contrasts, never quite sure whether it is still summer or very much winter. At times beautiful, with cold misty mornings, leaves turning to red and gold on the trees and an abundance of berries in the hedgerows, but also sad with the realisation that another year is drawing to a close and we will soon face the hardships of winter.
Our instinct is, like the squirrels, to store food to last us through to spring. We may have abandoned the kilner jars of my childhood (who still has some at the back of a cupboard?) but many of you will be having a go at making jam and chutney, so make sure you get in a stock of preserving and demerara sugar, vinegar, dried fruit and spices. Meal choices change, with more casseroles and hotpots - why not try using more vegetables and pulses and cutting back a bit on the meat? We have some interesting tinned vegetables as well as the usual dried lentils etc, and lots of interesting herbs and spices.
Colder evenings mean it’s time to light the fire, if you haven’t already, and we stock logs, kindling and firelighters. We also need to be prepared for icy windscreens on those frosty mornings, so make sure you have some de-icer. We may even see Barry’s legendary stock of woolly hats and gloves appearing in the shop!
I sometimes find myself looking back, at this time of year, and wondering what I have achieved. At the shop, I think we can be pleased that we have continued to see higher sales and a bigger footfall than prior to the pandemic, and we are learning what works and what doesn’t. We continue to get good feedback from customers, new and old, but we welcome criticism if it helps us to do better.
Finally, you will have noticed that we have a new till system. By the time you read this, we should all have got used to using it - there are some subtle differences which can be confusing at times - and we are working hard to make sure all our bar-coded products are on the system with up to date prices. Some people have asked why we had to get a new system, but the old one was run on out of date software and we were losing vital back-up technical support. Thank you for your patience while we made the adjustments.
On behalf of village shop committee Sept 10 2021
September 2021 Update
As I write, towards the end of July we are in a heat wave; no doubt when you read this we will be in more typical English holiday weather. However the shop will cover all bases. Barbeque ingredients, ice cream and fruit drinks, or hot soup!
We have been very sorry to lose our fruit and veg supplier. Unfortunately they have ceased for personal health reasons, we wish them well. Barry is busy making sure that we are always supplied, and using a variety of means until we find what works best for our customers. We have had a similar experience with our sandwich supplier. The track and ping culture has left many suppliers short of staff, which consequently has left us occasionally short on some essentials. I am hoping again that by the time of this Chimes publication these things will have settled down. Barry, and his wonderful staff, used to emergencies from lockdown, will see us through, but apologies if your list was missing something recently.
The shop had an emergency lockdown at the end of July with a long power-cut on a Saturday. With no till or card machine we were forced to close. Volunteers rallied and the orders were still collected and delivered and by 4.30 we were able to open again. Many thanks Tony Woodroffe and Rosemary Clarey, and others who were involved.
The community room has a new look and is open for use again. I hope that it will gradually expand its service to the village as a space for clubs, meetings, get-togethers, coffee mornings etc. The nights grow shorter and we look to friends and community to explore interests, expand our creativity or just a good gossip. What better place to meet?
September, Summer wanes, but not quite full blown autumn. School returns, we hope. The shop shelves will change subtlety, Autumn the season of ‘mists and mellow fruitfullness’ brings in the reds, and copper hues of plants on the trolly outside the shop, wonderful fruit in the baskets inside, root veg. in plenty, pies and sausages for colder evenings. And more poetry to inspire our days, on the board outside (Thanks to Rachel)
Everything crossed for better times, healthier times for us all.
Bardy Griffiths July 26 2021 (early because of holidays)
For the village shop committee.
COME JOIN US
Further to our article in the July issue of the Chimes, I am happy to announce that we are planning the event for the morning of Saturday the 7th August. To recap, this is to welcome the return of happier times to our village after so many months of Covid related restrictions. There will be street food, music, stalls, special promotions and much more at the shop, together with local arts and crafts on display in the Community Room. Please see further details in the shop.
I imagine that some Chimes readers have never visited our shop. So perhaps a few more details may be of interest. Our excellent shop manager Barry, who along with the great support from Graham and Rachael, runs the shop like a well- oiled machine. However, their task would be impossible without the help of a group of volunteers who happily give up their time to make the whole operation viable. Barry is a busy man but always finds time to talk to our customers. If you happen to be in the shop during his lunch-break he may even serenade you with his guitar in the Community Room!
For a shop with around 800 square feet of floor space we carry an amazing stock range of over 2500 different products including items from matches to Marmite, soap to soup, wine to wine gums, I could go on but I hope I have got my message across. We also have a Post Office counter, open every weekday morning. Not only can you access a normal PO service, but you can also deposit/withdraw money from your bank account without the need to go to your bank branch. What is more, being a Community Shop, our profit is handed over to the Halstock Village Trust to use, as they see fit, to enhance the Village.
With the holiday season in full swing at last, we welcome many visitors to the area staying in holiday lets. We would love you to find the time to pop in, just put BA22 9RJ in your Sat Nav and you will find us. We have our very own shop bags, which come in two styles one made from cotton, ideal to put in a handbag or glove compartment, and the other jute for a larger shop. Both have our shop logo on them, and make a useful and unique souvenir.
When you need further supplies for the remainder of your holiday, I am sure we can meet your needs. Perhaps you may like to try our local sausages for your BBQ. We also have fly spray and swatters if they invite themselves too.
If the weather turns inclement, we have a good range of second- hand books, DVDs and jigsaws for sale at very reasonable prices in our Community Room, with all proceeds going to the running of the room. And if the weather really becomes unseasonably cold in the extreme, we can even sell you a hot water bottle!
Robert Wilkinson (On behalf of the Halstock Shop Committee)
July 6 2021
June 2021 Update
June – month of roses and honeysuckle, strawberries and cream, and hopefully some warm sunny weather after the misery of a cold spring. We should be looking forward to all the traditional outdoor events, but although it looks as though Wimbledon will happen, some other occasions have been cancelled or curtailed.
However the important thing is that from June 21st, Midsummer’s Day, if all goes according to the government roadmap, we will be free from the majority of the Covid restrictions. And what better time for an al fresco party than Midsummer? In Scandinavia where the winters are harsh, Midsummer is always hot with incredibly long days and an opportunity for lots of partying and feasting (if the detective stories I read are to be believed).
We can’t promise you the midnight sun, but we will try to cater to your needs for a Midsummer barbeque. Our fruit and veg suppliers have really come up trumps and we always have a good stock of fresh and attractive fruit, vegetables and salads. If you want to be sure of being able to buy a particular item, let us know and we will order and put it back for you. We have Sam’s sausages and Thorner’s meats, as well as frozen salmon steaks and vegeburgers. And don’t forget the charcoal.
As ever we have a great range of beers, wines and ciders which visitors comment on, (sometimes a little unkindly “Are you all alcoholics in Halstock?”) No, we just buy our drink at Halstock Village Shop!
I grew up on the edge pf Epsom Downs and June meant Derby Day, out of school early and up to “The Hill” to watch the race. The excitement, the crowds, the noise, the colour, the bookmakers shouting the odds, the commentary over the tannoy, are still a vivid memory over 60 years on! Best of all we were taken to the funfair in the evening, a rare treat.
Covid may have made us realise we miss some of the more noisy and sociable aspects of life “pre-Covid”, but I for one won’t miss crowded shops and traffic jams. For a quieter and more friendly shop, come to Halstock - you could be surprised at how much stock we carry.
We don’t yet know for certain that restrictions will be lifted from June 21st, so please make sure that you continue to follow any advice or instructions as you enter the shop. The last fifteen months have been difficult for everyone but we are so grateful to you, our customers, that you have worked with us to keep the shop Covid-safe and have continued to shop here.
Thank you to all our customers and of course to Barry, Graham, Rachel and all our volunteers, the “community” in Halstock Community Shop. And if you’d like to join us as a volunteer, speak to any of the staff, you will be very welcome.
(May 9 2021. On behalf of the village shop committee)
May 2021 Update
The darling buds of May and this year they maybe the buds of sweet peas or cosmos, beans or peas that you have grown from seed that you bought in Halstock village shop. Is there no limit to our versatility? The seeds, the compost to sow them in are all on sale and its not too late for sowing for a second crop. Meanwhile the wonderful fruit and veg on sale will keep you going.
With the new rules, and hopefully the sun, it will be time for picnics. We can provide the goodies; rolls and fillings, pork pies, scotch eggs, and cakes, and a beer or glass of Prosecco to accompany. At the end of a hot day don’t forget the ice cream, fill your freezer so there is always one handy.
Rachel has returned to the team following Penny’s retirement, and with her, the reappearance of blackboard poetry. Two years since we had the shop laureate to inspire or cheer us. Two years, (approx) since Graham joined the team. I wondered why I couldn’t find last years entry for May on my computer, then I remembered that we had no Chimes for many months last year. With lockdown easing there may be changes, welcome ones, though I expect we will be cautious for some time yet.
If you have a project or group you would like to see displayed in one of the shop windows then let Rachel know, she and Blossom will keep the displays relevant and attractive. Well done for the February Mud window. And well done the ‘Love your Verge’ litter gatherers in March. If you see a any litter around there is a pick-up litter stick you can borrow from the shop.
Many thanks to those who bought tickets for the Easter raffle for Yeovil Food Bank. We raised £35, everything helps those who are struggling at this time.
Hoping for sunshine and health this summer, here in Halstock, UK and worldwide.
Bardy Griffiths April 8
On behalf of Halstock village shop committee.
April 2021 Update
April is here, days are getting longer with light evenings, the weather is warmer, birds are nesting, bluebells and wild cherry blossom will soon appear in the woods. Covid restrictions are easing just a little and many of us have now had at least one vaccination, so it feels like there is light at the end of the tunnel. But don’t forget that precautions still apply in the shop including face coverings and social distancing.
The lockdown won’t be lifted for the Easter weekend, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy Easter eggs, hot cross buns, Easter biscuits and all sorts of other goodies which you can find in the shop over the holiday. By the time we get to Shakespeare’s birthday on the 23rd, we should be able to socialise with a small number of people in the garden, maybe even think about a barbeque. We have everything you need, including the charcoal.
Don’t forget we have a really good range of cards for all occasions - customers come from far and wide to have a good browse - and nearly always find exactly what they want. Even with all our modern electronic communication, there is something exciting about receiving a card in the post!
Seeing signs of spring all around encourages even the most reluctant gardener to get outside and maybe sow some seeds or plant up some pots. We now sell a small range of flower and vegetable seeds as well as compost, grow bags, gloves, string and other sundries. Kate continues to keep the barrow outside the shop supplied, so look out for new arrivals.
This is traditionally the time to do some spring cleaning, not my favourite occupation I have to admit, but for those of you who like to get stuck in, we have a full range of cleaning products, including the environmentally friendly Ecover range.
You will have noticed some changes in shop staffing recently. Penny retired in February after nearly five years with us. Thank you for your contribution, Penny, and here’s to a long and happy retirement. Rachel has taken on a permanent contract and hopefully Penny will do occasional relief in the Post Office. At the same time a number of volunteers who were shielding have returned to the shop following their vaccinations, so it has been possible to spread the load and take some of the pressure off Barry and Graham who have worked so hard through the pandemic. Thank you!
Finally, look out for our Easter Raffle in aid of a local charity.
(March 9 2021. On behalf of the village shop committee)
March 2021 Update
Welcome to March, and to what used to be the first month of the year – at least according to the early Roman calendar! Indeed, the first Roman calendar had only ten months, beginning in March, which was named for the Roman god Mars. Of course, with all ten months being either 30 or 31 days in length, they ran out of them by December (decem being the Latin for ten) and simply filled in the rest of the year with fifty or so days of general ‘Winter’.
This March, in theory at least, we too can bid farewell to winter, as 20th March sees the Vernal (or Spring) Equinox – the date on which both day and night are of equal length. But before that comes Mothers Day, aka Mothering Sunday, on 14thMarch and, as ever, we’ll have a wide choice of cards to say ‘thank you’ to Mum for all she means to you – plus chocolates and other treats – or maybe a plant? And while we’re speaking of plants, always keep an eye on the wheelbarrow display outside the shop in March, with its enviable reputation for quality bedding plants, all at hard-to-beat prices.
We all know how capricious March can be weatherwise and this March may turn out to be no exception. But weather permitting, many of us will be keen to enjoy coast and countryside, and we certainly have the best of both here in Dorset. So be ready with snacks to take with you on any kind of outing, including our ‘Eat Natural’ bars, our yoghurt bars, peanut and raisin packs, drinks and lots more to sustain you. On the other hand, should March turn out to be a month to stay warm and dry indoors, our magazine shelves will be filled with plenty to keep you occupied, covering a wide range of interests, including craft and puzzle books, special interests magazines and more. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, Barry will be happy to order it specially – just ask.
March 17th honours, St Patrick the patron saint of the Emerald Isle. They do say everyone is a little Irish on St Patrick’s Day and, to be sure, we’ll have Paddy’s Whisky and plenty of Guinness on our shelves should you wish to join in the celebration.
Our shop windows have always been a feature in the village and from time to time, we are able make one available to local groups who have a non-profit-making service to promote. If that’s you, speak to Rachel in the shop and maybe we can help you bring what you do for our community to people’s attention.
To end with, here are some trivial (and not so trivial) facts about March. Firstly, the Spring Equinox is said to be the only day of the year when you can balance an egg on its end (it’s no yoke!). If you’re born in March, you will probably know your birth flower is the daffodil. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the clocks go forward on Sunday 28th March. A timely note to finish on.
A happy March to you all from Halstock Shop. Tony Hill (Member of the Shop Committee)
February 2021 Update
We at the shop, hope that your Christmas and New Year was enjoyable even if rather different than usual. Your support of the shop has been tremendous and we have had some very busy days indeed. Thanks to all staff and volunteers who did extra/longer shifts enabling us to serve all of our customers.
Writing this in the first week of January and yet again we are in lockdown. By the time you are reading it I hope fervently that the situation with Covid 19 in the country will have has significantly improved.
At the time of writing the shop is still well stocked. Any shortages are currently due too us gearing up for boosted sales and not the suppliers running short. In fact the suppliers are reacting well and started limiting sales immediately the lockdown was announced.
The few remaining Christmas items are gone the shelves and again we are stocked with our usual range of goods. Everyone is talking about the fruit and vegetables since we got a new supplier. Given a day or two we can order almost any veg or fruit. For example at the time of writing we will be getting in small punnets of non-ground turmeric.
The shop is bright and cheerful; the plants outside to tempt you if you have to wait to enter, the shelves well-filled, coffee and books in the community room. If you are stuck at home and in need of hearing voices then you can still tuck yourself away in a corner of the community room. Please just adhere to social distancing. You could use the coffee machine and maybe just read a paper.
Post Office and Royal Mail
It is worth noting that at the time of going press that the Post office is not accepting any parcels for parcels outside of UK (apart from Southern Ireland). It is always worth checking before trying to send parcels abroad.
New stamps are National Parks 14th January (presentation pack and stamps) and UK a Celebration 26th Jan (just presentation packs)
Blossom Chambers has given us many beautiful Shop Window Displays during 2020. Autumn and Christmas/mid-winter displays have been particularly gorgeous, and she kindly designed and put up our ‘Thank- you window’ for the volunteers. How many of you there are! BUT there is still a call out for more to get involved; it is safe, and fun! If you only have two hours a week to spare you will be welcome. Talk to Barry.
Bardy Griffiths on behalf of the Community Shop Committee January 7h 2020
January 2021 Update
The staff, volunteers and committee at Halstock Village Shop wish all our customers the very best for 2021. May it be healthier and happier than 2020! We would never have dreamt in January 2020 that we would have a year like this last one, but we are proud that we have been able to play our part in keeping our communities supplied and safe. Thank you to all our customers for your support.
So – January is here with the worst Dorset can offer in winter weather floods, gales, snow and ice, making it difficult to get out of the village. But don’t despair. We have logs and kindling, torches, batteries and candles, de-icer and salt, bread-making flour and all the ingredients for home cooking, and three large, well-stocked freezers.
To keep out the cold, we have a large selection of woolly hats, gloves and socks, or to keep the inner woman warm, we have lots of calorie packed bakery products and a wide range of wines and spirits. I am reminded that the birds need extra food to keep up their energy in cold weather and we stock fat balls, peanuts and mixed seeds for them.
We have recently taken on a new fruit and vegetable supplier, and so far we are pleased with what they can offer. The produce is fresh and well presented, with some new ideas as well as the staples. Let us know what you think.
Regarding Covid restrictions, a vaccine is being rolled out as I write, but it will be some time before it reaches the community. We would like please to appeal to all our customers to continue to observe requirements – wear a mask, follow hand hygiene and keep to a social distance within the shop. This is to keep everyone safe, especially our many elderly customers.
However we still try to make the shop welcoming and to greet everyone with a few words and a smile (behind the mask!) You don’t need to groan at the thought of driving into town, come and see if Halstock Village Shop has what you want.
(On behalf of the shop committee. December 9 2020)
HALSTOCK VILLAGE SHOP LIMITED
REPORT FOR HALSTOCK VILLAGE MEETING onMAY 15TH2019
The Shop and Post Office are both flourishing. Graham Bryan has been with us for a year as assistant manager and has brought terrific enthusiasm and commitment to the role. Barry Dennis, Graham and Penny Whittingham make a superb team, but the volunteers also make a positive difference. We are always ready to welcome new volunteers, any amount of time you can give is appreciated, and it can be fun.
We are hoping to run a trial of Liberty farms fresh milk machine when one becomes available.
You will have seen the new shop logo which was deigned for us by Blossom Chambers. And hopefully you have bought one of the new shopping bags, jute or cotton, that display it.
Last Autumn Tony Woodroffe decided he wished to take a lesser role in the running of the shop. To this end Bardy Griffiths has taken over the chairing of the shop committee meetings and liaising with staff on issues as and when they arise. David Warner deals with all financial matters and has become a director of HVSL. Robert Wilkinson has taken on the alcohol licence. It is hard to think of the shop without Tony, and hopefully he doesn’t intend us to. He was the positive force behind the shop we have today, we owe him huge gratitude for the tireless work he put in. Luckily we haven’t seen too much evidence of his giving up.
A Management Committee consisting of the Chairman, Directors and other committee members meets twice a year to review performance and make key decisions. Richard Fry and John Bright continue to serve as Chairman and Director.
One of the flats has been let for the whole of the year and the other for 11 months, the tenants of that flat having recently moved out. We hope to have a new tenant shortly and are taking the opportunity of the flat being empty to re-decorate.
We are pleased to announce that the Company’s made a donation to the HVT of £15,000 for the year ended 31 May 2018. There is currently an outstanding loan from the Trust of £59,500 which was used to repay entirely the mortgage from Triodos Bank. A commercial rate of interest is paid on this loan, providing further income for the Trust.
Turnover in shop remains buoyant. Based on the figures for the first 11 months of the Company’s current financial year, it is expected that shop sales will be about £280,000 for the year ending 31 May 2019, which is an increase of over 5% on the previous year’s turnover. Post Office income remains static at about £6,000. For the current year ending 31 May 2019 the Company will make a reasonable profit and therefore the Management Committee has agreed to make a donation to the HVT of £10,000. This represents nearly all the profit and therefore reduces the Company’s Corporation Tax liability to a negligible amount.
We would like to remind everyone that Halstock Village Shop Ltd is a not-for-profit company with surpluses covenanted to the HVT. Including interest paid on the loan, the Company will have paid a total of just over £27,500 to the Trust in the last two years alone. We hope this trend will continue with the help and support of the village and surrounding community
15 May 2019