HALSTOCK VILLAGE SHOP Phone: 01935 891 781

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, Liberty organic milk, locally baked bread from the Evershot and A303 bakeries, local produce including Liberty Orchards balsamic vinegar 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 :                                                        

Monday       8.00am to 6.00pm

Tuesday       8.00am to 6.00pm     

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 12.00 noon


Post Office :

Monday to Friday  Open from 9.00am to 1.00pm



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, Graham Bryan, deputy manager, Donna Hannigan and assistant manager Holly Thea,  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 two and eight hours a week.


There has been a community owned shop in Halstock in various locations since 1991.



Our home delivery service is now operating on Saturdays for local people who are unable to get out. 

Call the shop on 01935 891781 to ask for details. 


Schedule of Work (23.02.24)

Electrical work:

  1. The ring main, at ceiling hight has been damaged, this shall be uncovered, inspected/repaired and the hole made good. (*1 on plan 1)
  2. The light and associated switch in the cupboard shall be removed and any live wires terminate. (*2 on plan 1)
  3. The switch and time clock shall be moved to the outside wall in the same location as the current alarm panel (*3)
  4. The room light switch shall be moved from the stud wall to the outside wall, and the room dimmer switch moved along the wall to allow the changes to the kitchen (see *4 & *5 on plans)
  5. The light cluster (*6) shall be moved to the cupboard area and wired into the main room switches)
  6. The light cluster (*7) shall be rotated by 90 degrees. The remain two light cluster are unmoved.
  7. A new strip light, matching those in the shop will be fitted; switched from its own switch as shown on the plan (*8)
  8. The kitchen light switch shall be moved as shown on the plan (*9)
  9. The storage heater and its associated wiring shall be moved (*10)
  10. The double sockets (*11) shall be moved as shown, and two additional double sockets shall be installed in the cupboard area (*12).
  11. The socket in the kitchen cupboard for the fridge may need to be moved (*13)
  12. The water heater under the sink in the kitchen will need to be moved.

Note there is a consumer unit in the kitchen midway along the stud wall. This will not need to be moved.


Plumbing Work:

The sink in the corner of the shop shall be removed and the pipes capped (*14). (note this feed also supplies the outside tap)

  1. A cold-water feed should be run from this point into the new cupboard created and terminated with a gate valve and capped pipe.
  2. The kitchen will need re-plumbing as per changes detailed.



The kitchen is to be reversed as per the plans; the current doorway shall be blocked off and a new doorway created as shown (note, no door is required for this opening but should be implemented such that a door can be fitted, if required) the tiles shall be removed from the wall and the wall made good. The top units, bottom doors, draw fronts, sink and taps shall be reused, and new carcases and work top fitted as per the plan. The area around the sink shall then be tiled in white.


Building work:

  1. As mentioned above; the current kitchen doorway and hatchway is to be blocked up and a new doorway created as per the plan; it should be implemented such that a door can be fitted, if required)
  2. The wall of the cupboard (*15) shall be removed and the wall & ceiling made good. The Red flooring shall be removed and new vinal flooring to match the current room laid. (If possible, this shall be vinal welded to the current floor, if this is not possible a suitable strip shall cover the join)
  3. The current glass partition and door shall be removed, walls and ceilings made good. The shop has some spare floor tiles, these shall be used to make good the floor and a suitable strip add over the join. The majority of the new area will not be re-floored. Note. There is an alarm sensor (*17) this will need to be removed from the frame and door as the alarm company will need to move them once work is completed.
  4. A new stud walling shall be erected as per the plan (18*) and the old glass door moved as close as possible to the kitchen opening. The larger part of this wall shall have closeable vents at the bottom and the top section should be glassed (See drawing 3). The shop side of this wall will not require skirting board. The community room side shall have skirting boards to match the current ones. A door shall be fitted to the cupboard.
  5. The door to the rear of the community room shall have the upper 4 panels glazed with an obscured glass.
  6. All areas that have been made good or are new shall be painted; the walls in the shop area shall be magnolia emulsion and the walls in the community area shall be eggshell all woodwork shall be grey.


Site access and storage:

Access to the site will be between 07:30 and 18:00 Monday to Saturday and 08:00 – 12:00 on Sundays (if required) materials and tools can be stored in the cupboard area of the community room.


Halstock Village Shop Accounts to 31.05.2023



Halstock Community Shop

                                                        May 2024 update                                                                                                                                     

Welcome to our May update from the village shop.


This month I am going to start with an appeal for more volunteers to help in the shop. Our turnover continues to increase, which is great news, and we are trying to hold a greater variety of products to meet your needs, but all this means more work ordering, and keeping shelves stocked, and making sure everything is good quality. Volunteers are an essential part of the operation, whether serving at the counter while paid staff run the post office and do admin, or shelf filling and checking stock. We have just enough volunteers to cover the times when they are needed, but if someone goes off sick or takes some holiday, we are really struggling to fill the gaps. 

Many people we approach say they can’t spare the time or they don’t want to make the commitment, but we are looking for just two hours a week and we recognise that people need to take time off, whether for holiday or personal reasons. If you think you might be able to help, speak to Graham. It really is good fun (most of the time) and a great way to get to know people. 

There are two bank holidays in May, on the 6th and the 27th this year, although May Day is traditionally the 1st. It probably has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival of Beltane, and is marked by maypole dancing, garland making and bonfires. The shop will operate Sunday hours on the two Bank Holidays, and will of course stock plenty of meat for barbeques, local charcoal, Evershot and West Camel bread and our usual great range of drinks.

May marks the transition from Spring to Summer, from chilly April showers to the warm sun of June. Or so we hope in this year of crazy climate. By the end of the month, trees will be in full leaf with blossom everywhere. Many of us will spend more time in the garden, catching up on sowing and planting, or enjoying a barbeque with friends and family. 


The Community Room are holding a Plant Sale on Saturday 25th May outside the shop.  


Look out for special offers in the shop. All we need now is for it to stop raining.


Diana Staines for the Shop Committee


Halstock Community Shop

                                                        February 2024 update                                                                                                                                      

Apart from February being the last month of winter (good), this is a leap year – which means a whole extra day to do your shopping at the Halstock Community Shop!


Blame this anomaly in the calendar on the Roman king, Numa Pompilius (716-653 BC), who divided the year into 12 months to sync with the lunar year. In those days, an even number was considered unlucky, so the king jiggled around with a) the number of months in a year and, b) the number of days in the newly created months. And, importantly, because the earth revolves around the sun every 365 days and six hours, an extra day accumulates every four years - hence the need to add an extra one at the end of February, making a leap year with 29 days in the month. Tradition has it that, every four years, on the 29 February, ladies can propose marriage to their shy gentlemen callers – and although the shop doesn’t stock precious stones with which to plight your troth, it does stock nearly everything else you might need for the other celebrations and observances during the month.


Chinese New Year – this year is the year of the Dragon. It is celebrated on 10 February, so if you were thinking of cooking up a stir-fry, the shop stocks everything you’ll need, from chicken breasts to cut into strips, frozen prawns, pak choi and other veg, noodles, rice, to tinned bamboo shoots and water chestnuts. On the shelf below, you’ll find packs of stir fry sauce: sweet chilli & garlic, black bean and chow mein. Kung hei fat choi everyone.


Shrove Tuesday follows on the 13th. Aka Pancake Day - historically a day when ingredients such as eggs and fat would have been used up before the privations of Lent. Should you not have any of the right ingredients in your cupboards, check out the shelves for ingredients to make a good batch of savoury or sweet pancakes – at the heart of which are the Stoney Farm Class A free range eggs, supplied from locally raised chickens. On top of the ice cream freezer can be found some likely fillings and toppings such as maple syrup and chocolate and strawberry sauces. What about Nutella and choc chips or yogurt and blueberries? Savoury lovers might like to try ricotta and spinach or ham, tomato and grated cheese. But you can’t beat a simple caster sugar and squeezed lemon pancake.


Save a space though and make the most of the following day’s treats because, not only is it Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent, it’s also St Valentine’s Day. A variety of cards and gifts are available – and if you don’t have time to cook from scratch, there are some excellent ready meals available to put in the oven or microwave. A couple of those with some fresh vegetables from the chiller cabinet, together with a little glass of something sociable – wine or fizz, followed by a ready-made dessert with meringue, cream or ice cream. Light a fire with the kindling, logs and firelighters; sit back and enjoy. Job done.


Apparently, the 20-26 February is National Chip Week!. Make your own with the potatoes underneath the veggie racks or, for speed, pick up a bag from the freezer.


Roll on Spring.


Claire Leech on behalf of the Shop Committee


Halstock Village Shop

January 2024 update


On behalf of the Staff, Volunteers and Management Committee at Halstock Community Village Shop, I would like to wish all our customers, and local residents, a very happy, peaceful and healthy 2024.


Traditionally, you will be making New Year’s resolutions, so why not make one of yours to use the Village Shop more? If you haven’t been in recently, you may be surprised at the variety of stock we carry, and more to come with our extension (but more of that in future months).

We can’t replicate the range of products at the big supermarkets, nor can we match their prices,  although we come very near for many items.

However, if you consider that it costs at least 50p a mile to run the average family car, add parking charges and you won’t get much change from a tenner when you drive into town. So try going once a fortnight, and doing “top-up” shopping with us - it’s a no-brainer!


January used to be the time for “The Sales” in the big shops - an excuse to go to the nearest city, see the Christmas lights before Twelfth Night, and hopefully snap up a bargain. Then the sales started on Boxing Day and more recently came to Black Friday, an American invention. If Graham and the team have got their calculations right, we won’t have much to sell off at reduced prices in the village shop after New Year!


Incidentally, you may wonder about our policy on dated products and reductions.

Many dairy and deli items - cheese, cream, cooked and raw meat, readi-meals, pies and pasties etc, have a “use by” date, meaning we cannot legally sell them after this date. Some can be returned to the supplier, or frozen, but items which would otherwise be thrown away are reduced significantly immediately before the use by date.

Other products such as biscuits, crisps, cereals, confectionary etc, deteriorate over time but are still safe to eat. These are marked with a “best before” date and are usually reduced, by a smaller sum, when they pass the best before date. This is an indication that quality may be less than perfect. We try to rotate stock on the shelves and to keep a watchful eye on dates, so hopefully you won’t find too many of these price reductions!


Hopefully you are already a regular customer, and you know that we are friendly and welcoming (and a source of all the gossip!). If you haven’t visited us recently, why not give it a try, and if you’re feeling really adventurous, why not try working here as a volunteer for a couple of hours a week?


Diana Staines on behalf of the committee.

Halstock Village Trust

Registered Charity No: 02615929


Grant Application for extension to Halstock Village Shop



Halstock Village Shop Limited (HVSL) has asked Halstock Village Trust (HVT) to make a grant towards the cost of building their proposed extension to the shop. The trustees have considered this application and propose to offer a grant of £50000 provided that:

  • An acceptable quotation for the building work has been received
  • Sufficient funds have been secured to cover the work and any cost overrun

The Trustees have agreed to offer the grant on the basis that:


  • HVSL is an excellent enterprise which is very well run and HVT should seek to support the Directors, Management Committee and Staff in what they see as an important and beneficial project
  • The majority of the funds held by HVT came from HVSL profits which were covenanted to HVT when HVSL and HVT were set up.
  • There are no other major projects planned for the village which would require this level of funding.
  • HVSL has made a comprehensive application which includes a satisfactory assessment of project benefits and risks

HVT currently has usable funds of £84000. This will reduce to £34000 once the grant is made. The bulk of the fund has come from HVSL profits in previous years and, in going ahead, it is recognised that for the seven years during which the loans are being repaid, HVT may receive less income from HVSL than it otherwise would have done.


Halstock Village Shop Limited Proposed extension to the Shop


The Directors and Management Committee of Halstock Village Shop Limited (HVSL) have obtained planning consent for an extension to the shop on the southern side of the current shop. The design is shown in outline overleaf (extension edged in red).


The total cost of the project has been estimated at £140,000, comprising £100,000 building costs including fees, £20,000 fitting out and £20,000 provision for contingencies/costs over-run.


An application has been made to the Halstock Village Trust (HVT) for a grant of £50,000.

£70,000 is being raised from interest-free loans in units of £3,500 from local people and the loans are repayable in equal instalments over 7 years. Fitting out costs will be met from existing HVSL cash reserves.


  • The main reason for building an extension is to enable the shop to offer a wider range of goods for sale and to display those goods in a more accessible and shopper-friendly manner.


  • The village shop has been trading successfully now for over 30 years and seen its sales increase over this period of time. It received a major boost to turnover during Covid, when it provided a vital community service at a time when visiting supermarkets became difficult. Turnover since Covid, although reduced from its highest levels, is still very much above what it was before the pandemic struck


  • The increase in choice of goods on offer and being able to sell more locally sourced products will provide environmental benefits by helping customers to reduce their travel


  • While it is unrealistic to expect sales to increase in line with the additional floor space, we do expect that the extension will produce increased sales and profits which will further ensure the shop’s future


  • The main areas for potential improvement are frozen and chilled goods and the hardware corner. The extension would provide space for two additional chillers and a freezer and would also free up space for more shelving, enabling us to better display what we currently stock, particularly bread and other fresh goods, as well as increasing our range.


  • We have already seen an increase in sales by being able to display the Thorner products that we freeze as a result of the freeing up of freezer space following the acquisition of a new ice-cream freezer. There has also been an increase in ice cream sales of more than 50% since that freezer was purchased.


  • The Directors are satisfied that HVSL will generate sufficient cash to make the loan repayments.


  • If you would like to support this initiative by offering a £3,500 interest-free loan repayable in

£500 amounts over the next 7 years please contact Rosemary Clary (rbclary@icloud.com). For and behalf of the Directors


Registered Office: Russell House, Halstock, Yeovil, Somerset BA22 9SF Registered in England and Wale

No: 2615929

Halstock Village Shop


December 2023 update

All set for Christmas? Is anyone? Not me, that’s for sure. And if you are then I shall probably be silently judging you for having nothing better to do. No, there’s lots of December to enjoy before the great event, not least a month-long festive Christmas Craft Market in the Community Room; our village’s traditional Christmas Lunch in the village hall on Sunday 10th and ‘Carols Around the Tree’ on Friday 22nd, on the Square.


But, when it comes to Christmas planning, remember yours can be made simpler with a walk around the packed shelves here at your local shop. Cards, wrapping paper and stocking-fillers come first to mind, and you’ll find a great selection on display, along with calendars and diaries. Our Post Office counter has Christmas stamps of course, and our staff are fully au fait with last posting dates. For cards and letters to the UK that means 18th Dec for 2nd class and 20th for first class. Ask about dates for parcels going to more exotic places, and if you’re unsure, be quick as some dates are quite soon!


As ever, we have plenty of appetizing Christmas goodies in store, to tempt you and to make your Christmas festivities all the tastier. Patés, special cheeses, chocolates and, new to our village, Baboo’s exciting, locally-made range of ice creams in festive flavours like brandy, maple and walnut, and crystallized ginger. And of course, we have all your Christmas baking essentials, ready and waiting to deal with that last minute hiatus!


As ever, you’ll find all your favourite Christmas tipples on our well-laden shelves and, new for this year, our very own Halstock Gin – expertly blended here in the village by Liberty Fields, using local produce. What a unique Christmas gift that would make for a gin connoisseur or even an occasional gin drinker! (and for yourself too, of course!).


Our wine list can be surprisingly extensive and always great value - and, newly-arrived, are flagons of Scrumpy Cider alongside offerings from popular local cider-maker, Isaacs. Beers, lagers and soft drinks of all kinds provide a choice for all occasions over the holiday period, whether you’re celebrating or just settling-in to watch a film once the big events are over. Which prompts a reminder to make sure you get your bumper Christmas Radio Times before they all fly off the shelf.


If you enjoy the experience of shopping with us as so many do, you might consider making your New Year resolution, to try out a couple of hours a week as a shop volunteer. Those who do will tell you it’s such an enjoyable experience and if you like meeting people, there could hardly be a better way to do so. Speak to Graham if you’re tempted to try it for a short while, to see if it suits you.


A very happy and peaceful Christmas to one and all, from all of us at Halstock Shop.


Tony Hill for Halstock Shop Committee

Halstock Village Shop


November 2023 update


N   is for November. Hard to imagine how we got here, but now we’re beginning to dip our toes into the start of winter, there’s            work to be done to find reasons to be cheerful and keep warm. How about this for starters: comfort food - specifically a              sausage and veg casserole? The beauty of this is that all the ingredients can be found in our wonderful village shop.

O   is for Over (sorry, bit tenuous) in the chiller you’ll find packs of Thorner’s splendid sausages.

V    is for Vegetables. You’ll need some of these from the shelves: onions, celery, carrots, leeks, mushrooms and parsley. And if          you don’t already have stock cubes, tomato purée, seasonings, tinned tomatoes, and chickpeas in your store cupboard,                they can be found in the middle aisle.

E    is for Evershot bakery’s lovely crusty Cobbers, which would make a terrific accompaniment to the casserole instead of                  potatoes (although a baked spud is very satisfying too).

M  is for Merlot. A home-cooked sausage casserole always deserves a decent glass of something. If you like a South African             red wine, definitely try a bottle of The Secretary Bird; or, if you prefer an Australian, the Bin 161 is a good and inexpensive           bet. Alternatively, a bottle of Thatcher’s or Isaac’s cider wouldn’t go amiss.

B   is for Butterbeans. You could always substitute the chickpeas with butterbeans if you prefer.  

E    is for Ease of Entertaining family and friends – in which case, double up on the quantities. Any left-overs freeze well.

R   is for the Recipe. This one serves 2 or 3 people, depending on how many sausages they can eat!



1 tsbs olive or rapeseed oil

6 Thorners pork sausages

2 medium onions chopped

2 celery sticks trimmed and sliced

2 medium carrots, peeled and thickly sliced

1 medium leek, trimmed and sliced

A large handful of fresh mushrooms or a tin of button mushrooms

300ml beef stock

2 tbsp tomato purée

400g tin of chopped tomatoes

400g tin of chickpeas/butterbeans

1 tsp dried sage

Splash Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp cornflour

Salt &pepper to taste

Fresh parsley, chopped, to garnish.



  1. Heat the oil and fry the sausages over a medium heat for 8-10 mins, turning regularly until browned all over. Transfer to a flame-proof casserole or a large saucepan.
  2. Add the onions, celery, leeks, mushrooms and carrots to the frying pan and cook until they soften. Tip the vegetables into the pan with the sausages.
  3. Pour in the tinned tomatoes, stir in the tomato purée, add the stock and splash of Worcestershire sauce. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat, add the chickpeas or butterbeans, cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Mix the cornflour with a tablespoon of cold water until smooth. Stir into the casserole and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, stirring regularly until the sauce has thickened, making sure the sausages are cooked thoroughly.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle the chopped parsley over.
                                                                                                                                   Claire Leech for Halstock Shop        




Halstock Village Shop


October 2023 update


October is so named as it was the eighth month of the Roman calendar but it became the tenth in the Gregorian calendar. The October moon is the Hunters' Moon, the time when people hunted to stock up on venison, wild boar etc for the winter. Most of us no longer hunt for our food, but it's worth making sure your store cupboard is well stocked and put some of our Jon Thorners meat in your freezer.


I'm not going to even try to talk about the weather this month, as it has become so unpredictable recently. What I can say with certainty is that the nights are now longer than the days and the clocks go back, so we have long dark evenings, time to think about cooking soups and stews, and sugary comforting puddings, or even making the Christmas cake! We generally have a good selection of fresh vegetables for stews, and dried fruit and nuts for the pudding, plus a great range of herbs and spices.


Don't forget we sell logs and kindling if you fancy sitting round a log fire. It’s probably sensible to make sure you have a torch with batteries for dark nights, and candles in case of power cuts.


October means Halloween on the 31st. This is derived from the Celtic festival of Samhain when  the spirits of the dead returned to haunt their homes and people dressed in costumes and lit fires to scare them away. Irish emigrants to America discovered pumpkins and carved them to make lanterns to frighten the spirits. We will aim to have pumpkins in the shop, as well as sweets for trick-and-treating. In the Christian Calendar, Halloween is the eve of All Hallows or All Saints Day on November the 1st.


Talking of spirits, our Halstock Gin is delicious and proving very popular. We've got more coming in during September and we'll make sure we have it in stock for Christmas. Watch out for other new lines on the shelves, and let us know if there’s something you’d like us to get, but don’t forget we have very limited space (until we get our extension, but more of that in future months.)


Finally, if you need to send parcels to far flung parts of the world, make sure you get a list of last posting dates from the Post Office.


Diana Staines, for the shop committee


Halstock Community Shop


July 2023 update


July is definitely summer, but predicting the British weather is notoriously difficult, and July is just as likely to be cold, wet and windy as hot and sunny.


A key to success in any retail business is predicting demand and this is influenced of course by the weather. Predicting demand is particularly important with food items that have a very short shelf life, and we have to try to strike a balance between over ordering resulting in waste, or under ordering and having unhappy customers, who may go elsewhere. We do our best, but we don’t always get it right!


We took a bit of a gamble (but an informed one) when we decided to switch to Evershot Bakery. Sales of bread and bakery products have risen significantly since we switched in mid April, and hopefully customers who come in for bread will buy other items. We are still experimenting a bit, trying to find the most popular items and working out what to order, and if there is something you particularly like, why not ask us to get it for you regularly?


Hopefully we have not taken a gamble with our new ice cream display freezer which enables us to stock a bigger range of ice cream and makes it easier for you to find what you want. Certainly, the hot sunny weather as I write this in half term week has boosted ice cream sales. To make room for the ice cream freezer, we have had to reduce the number of lines of some other products, especially pet food, and some items have been moved to different shelves - if you can’t find what you want, just ask.


July, of course, brings Wimbledon, as well as other traditional sporting events, and local fetes and garden parties. We will be stocking up on strawberries and cream for Wimbledon fortnight, but you don’t have to wait to try our delicious Longley Farm cream and Roddas clotted cream. If you are planning a special event, it’s always worth asking us to put some back. And if you are looking for Pimms to accompany the strawberries and cream, we stock that, as well as our usual range of wines, beers and ciders.


All we need now, is the weather.


And finally, we are always looking for additional volunteers. With the holiday season upon us, we need cover for volunteers and staff who aren’t available. If you’re interested, speak to Graham


Diana Staines, for the Shop Committee

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Halstock Community Shop

June 2023 Update


The first delivery from Evershot Bakery was eagerly anticipated – and it didn’t disappoint. For some time, many people had said how much they liked the bakery’s products and asked if the shop would be able to stock a selection. Graham took the requests to heart and – hey presto, a list of what could be ordered went up next to the till. A few weeks later, the shelves were filled with new types of bread - including large and small Cobbers, White Sticks, Sough Doughs - white and wholemeal, Speckled Dollies and the most amazing Granary Rolls known to man/woman/child. Just try one of those with a slice of the Hawkridge Mature Cheddar and a blob of The Preserving Pan’s Apple Chutney. For those of us who find it hard to resist anything involving pastry with savoury fillings (you know who you are), there are Steak and Kidney pies, Sausage Rolls, Steak pasties, Chicken and Mushroom pies, Meat and Potato pies and Cheese and Onion pasties. But if you just want something to go with a cup of tea or coffee, try a Chelsea bun, Eccles cake or a Fat Rascal. The latter is a bit like a large Rock cake – full of fruity deliciousness. We continue to stock everything from the A303 bakery - and orders (one-offs or regular) can be placed for either bakery. Evershot deliver on a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday and A303 deliveries arrive on Wednesdays and Saturdays.


Lots of new ciders have appeared on the shelves: Lilleys – a Somerset family business since 2007, owned and run by father and son, Chris and Mark Lilley. Described as ‘modern English ciders and perries, that push beyond traditional styles’, some of the names definitely bear that out. Such as: Gladiator, Whisky Cask, Cheeky Pig, Fire Dancer and Bee Sting Perry. Interestingly, there is also a combination of both fruits in the Apple and Pear Cider.


Now that frosts and the very cold nights have passed (oh please), June is the month for really getting to grips with the garden. Keep an eye on the variety of bedding plants and perennials outside the shop. It’s easy to completely fill your borders with Lisa Povey’s lovely, healthy plants. And after a hard day working in the garden, when you don’t feel much like cooking, the shop stocks all kinds of excellent chilled and frozen meals to put in the oven or microwave. Olive’s Kitchen is a really, good range, cooked by Charlie and Nikki Allhusen at their home in Sherborne, including Lamb Navarin, Fish Pie, meat and veggie Lasagnes, Chicken Gratin and Aubergine Parmigiana. Follow that with one of the puds from the freezer – Lemon Meringue Pie, Toffee Cheesecake, Chocolate Fudge Cake, Chocolate Gateau, perhaps served with one of the Classic’s range of ice creams.


Should the sun decide to stay out for more than a day at a time, an early summer BBQ or picnic might be on the cards. Charcoal for the former is already in stock, sausages for either can be found in the chiller cabinet, as are cold meats, houmous, guacamole and fresh salad. And to save washing up afterwards, little sets of wooden cutlery can be found on the shelves with the stationery, light bulbs and batteries.  


Someone once said that “June is the gateway to summer”. Fingers crossed.

Claire Leech, on behalf of the shop committee

Halstock Community Shop


Update May 2023


May sees spring at its height and is thought to be named after the Roman Goddess Maia, goddess of growing plants. The May full moon, on 5th May this year, is known as the Flower Moon with wild flowers in the meadows and blossom in hedgerows and orchards. May blossom, or hawthorn is particularly striking, but for hay fever sufferers, tree pollen can be a problem. Don’t forget, we sell antihistamines!


Many of us will be working away in our gardens, catching up after the wet weather in March, and praying that we don’t get a late frost. (I can even remember snow in May, but that was many years ago!) Don’t forget that we sell a variety of bedding plants and perennials produced by Lisa Povey as well as a small selection of seeds and gardening sundries. The Community Room are hoping to arrange a plant sale outside the shop one Saturday in May - watch out for details. We also sell cut flowers grown by Kate White Hamilton at West Chelborough.


With the extra holiday celebrating the coronation of King Charles lll, we have three Bank Holiday Mondays in May this year. Don’t forget that the shop will be open from 8.00 to 12.00 on these days, but the Post Office is closed. As usual we have locally produced charcoal if you are planning a barbeque, as well as a good range of barbeque meat, vegetarian burgers in the freezer and halloumi in the dairy chiller. Why not use peppers, courgettes and mushrooms with chicken to make kebabs?

We are changing our bread supplier to Evershot Bakery on April 17th, although we’ll still use the bakery on the A303 as well, and hopefully by the beginning of May the new arrangements will be settling down. Evershot have a wide range of pies and pasties, pastries, cakes and buns, as well as bread - ask staff for the list and put in an order if there's something you want regularly or for a special occasion.


The shop attracts passers by as well as regular customers from Halstock and surrounding villages. Our window displays and flowers in the little garden, pots and baskets help to make the shop attractive to visitors. Special thanks should go to our window dressers - the displays are regularly praised by our customers. And, as ever, thank you to the staff, the volunteers and the management committee who all contribute to the continuing success which is Halstock Village shop.


Diana Staines, on behalf of the shop committee.


Halstock Community Shop

April 2023 Update


April is here. A quarter of the year is already behind us and here we are at the gateway to spring, and your village shop is ideally placed to help you enjoy the spring-like weather we hopefully have coming. As the days lengthen and gardens come back to life, the planting season awaits, so remember we have a fine range of seeds to choose from and various other garden requisites like twine, compost and gloves.


Easter comes quite early in April this year, with Easter Day being Sunday 9th and, aside from gardening, the long weekend for many probably means an eclectic mix of visiting family, enjoying walks, and indulging in chocolate – whether you gave it up for Lent or not! We always have a wide selection of Easter Eggs and other chocolate gifts on display and a fine choice of colourful Easter Greetings cards to send to friends near and far.


A once traditional treat at Easter is Simnel Cake. A deliciously light fruit cake with marzipan in the centre and also on the top – and it’s surprisingly easy to make. If you’d like to have a go, we have a clear and concise printed recipe that’s simple to follow - and needless to say, all the ingredients are ready and waiting, here in the shop. Why ‘Simnel’? Well, explanations vary but I like the tale of Simon and his wife Nell, who argued over how to make a cake, then compromised and named the pleasing end-product after themselves: Sim/Nell. You’ll find more about Simnel Cake in our colourful Easter-themed window.


Speaking of our windows, the latest displays are getting lots of compliments for being creative and eye-catching. Perhaps you have a popular cause or project that you’d like to inform everyone about? There’s no charge for this service, just so long as your proposal is non-profitmaking and serves our local community. Ask anyone behind the counter to find out how it works.


Finally, we always need good souls to help deliver shopping to some housebound villagers on Saturdays. If you’re willing to spare an hour or so, on an irregular basis when the regular volunteer is not available, and you have use of a car, we’d love to hear from you. Speak to Graham or Donna when you’re next in the shop and they’ll tell you more.

Enjoy April and a Happy Easter from all of us at the shop.


Tony Hill, Member of Halstock Village Shop Committee

Halstock Village Shop Accounts 31.05.2022


Halstock Community Shop

March 2023 Update


Many of us are glad to see February in our rear-view mirrors and, happily, there are some indications that Spring is tippytoeing in. The evenings getting lighter and early daffs taking their place among the crocuses are encouraging signs. Talking of which, have you noticed the barrow of Spring plants for sale that has appeared outside the shop? Lovely quality and very inexpensive, they’ll perk up bare borders and fill in gaps where the remainder of last year’s annuals died off. A terrific selection that will be regularly updated as the month progresses.


March is still an unpredictable month weather-wise – (remember last year when it came in like a lion and went out rather belligerently too), so there will still be kindling, logs and firelighters in stock.


As Spring advances, thoughts may turn to some DIY jobs around the house, so stock up with sugar soap for washing down the walls, filler for any holes, paint brushes and white spirit – as well as Savlon and plasters in case of any minor mishaps.

And when you’ve finished your hard day’s work, settle in with a nice glass of wine. The shop stocks a very fine range of red, white and rosé wines from France, Spain, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Italy and South Africa - starting at under £6 a bottle. Or if you like a bit of sparkle and fizz, there are several varieties of Prosecco and the thirst-quenching Beaminster produced Isaac ciders.  


Don’t forget that the old stamps without bar codes will no longer be valid after 31 July 2023. If you have any that you want to swap before then, ask for an envelope at the Post Office to return and exchange old for new. Please note, it isn’t possible to do a swap over the counter.   


Did you know that you can place an order for bread or pastries, delivered to the shop on a Saturday morning? This can either be as a one-off or a standing order, but make sure you let Graham, Donna or one of the volunteers know before Friday.

Happily, being a volunteer in the shop isn’t all work and no play, a few weeks ago, we were all treated to an evening of delicious food and friendly competitiveness in the village hall. This took the form of a quiz – questions and answers compiled and delivered by Jez and Rachel and, at half-time, a selection of Graham’s famous scrumptious dishes – vegetable moussaka, chicken marengo and beef goulash, most of the ingredients for which were supplied from the shop - as was the wine and beer. It was great evening and applause for the winning team of Dave, Noreen, Tony and Diana was well-deserved.


The volunteers give generously of their time and are essential to the running of the shop – without them, it simply couldn’t function. A few more willing folk are needed and it would be great to hear from anyone who thinks they might be interested in doing a couple of hours a week. It’s not at all scary as full training is given and, particularly for village newbies, it’s a great way to get to know people (and more importantly, keep up with what’s going on!). Pop into the shop and have a no-obligation chat with Graham and see what it’s all about.


Don’t forget that British Summer Time begins on 26 March when the clocks go forward.


Claire Leech, for the Shop Committee


Halstock Community Shop

February 2022 Update


February can be a depressing month, it is still dark, it doesn’t seem to get any warmer and the rain is never ending! But here in Dorset, spring really is on the way, with spectacular displays of snowdrops, birds singing to stake out their territories and the first brave daffodils making an appearance.

In the shop we will be tidying the shelves, rooting out those forgotten items that didn’t sell and thinking about new and exciting products to take their place. Why not think about being a bit adventurous and try cooking something different? We have a surprising range of ingredients and Graham can advise you on new ideas and which spices to use. Using more vegetables and less meat can save you money as well as bringing variety to your menu.

One occasion when you might want to cook something special is Valentine’s Day on the 14th. We will as ever have a splendid range of cards, together with chocolates and even pink Prosecco.

One familiar figure is sadly going to be missing from the shop. Tony and Jeni Woodroffe are leaving Yeovil Road at the end of January, en route for a smaller, easier to manage, house in Beaminster. Tony was a driving force in re-establishing Halstock Village Shop as a community shop in 2013, securing a National Lottery grant of £50,000 and assembling a group of volunteers to support the paid staff. Despite having no retail experience he was eager to learn and very much hands on, ready to get stuck into anything from serving on the till, clearing snow, delivering groceries during the pandemic and turning out when the alarm went off in the middle of the night! He has assured us he will continue to call in from time and we wish him and Jeni good luck in their new home. Thank you Tony!

Finally, it’s not too late to apply for the post of part time Assistant Manager. Interviews will be held on Monday 6th February, so if you’re interested, send your CV to me at distaines19@gmail.com


Diana Staines for the shop committee




Halstock Community Shop

December 2022 Update

I know it’s a cliché, but time really does go faster the older one gets. I can’t believe twelve months have passed since I wrote the December article last year. As a youngster Christmas and birthdays seem to take an age to come round, now these milestones arrive far too quickly!

 By the time you have received this issue of The Chimes there will only be about three weeks to Christmas, and I need to start by mentioning the last postal dates. If you are sending cards to Australia or New Zealand I hope they have already gone! as the last date is December 1st. All overseas cards should have been posted by the 12th. For the UK, 2nd class is Monday the 19th, and 1st  class Wednesday 21st. By the way, if you have any ‘old’ stamps, they will no longer be valid after January 31st. From then on only the new stamps with the strange bar code down the right-hand edge will be accepted by the Royal Mail. 

The Post Office counter, within our shop, has the complete range of Christmas stamps, and is open Monday to Friday 9.00am to 1.00pm, and of course you can take any parcels to post there. We also have a supply of stamps by the till which we can sell when the PO is closed.

We are all used to sending e-mails, and although of course it is nice to be remembered by friends and family via any medium, e-cards just don’t seem to carry the spirit of Christmas, imagine how bare the mantelpiece would look if we only sent those to each other! So, while you are buying stamps do look at our range of conventional Christmas cards and wrapping paper.

As usual there will be various manager’s special offers, and as it gets closer to Christmas and the supermarkets become horrendously busy why not save time and hassle and pick up last minute essentials from our shop. We will be taking orders for milk, bread, veg and most other goods, see details in the shop. 

The Community Room will be turned into a Christmas Market again, full of gift items for sale made by our talented local artists and crafts people. Look in any time and why not enjoy a coffee while you browse. 

From all of us involved in the running of the shop may I wish you Seasons Greetings and Best Wishes for 2023.

Robert Wilkinson (On behalf of the Halstock Shop Committee)

Halstock Community Shop

November 2022 Update


November, and the leaves are gone, nothing left but a damp squelch in the lanes, and its hard to remember the soaring temperatures of July and August. But just as beautiful as the leafy green of summer are the skeleton trees ;

        ‘ When yellow leaves or none , or few, do hang

          Upon those boughs that shake against the cold,

                                  Bare ruined choirs where late the sweet birds sang’. 


The season is reflected in the shop by wooly hats and gloves, and lots of winter veg for hearty soups to keep out the cold. And did I see hot water bottles? We’ll need them this winter more than ever as we look for alternative heating. 

We are glad to see the back of the litter bin by the shop, ( I hope its gone by now, if not then soon) so often misused, and as it gets over full, a health hazard. Take your litter, (and dog poo) home. For a sandwich wrapper or a paper cup you can ask to use the bin in the shop.


Another new face behind the counter, but only on Sundays. We welcome Donna Hannigan to the team. 


There are some fabulous presentation packs of stamps available at the post office: Dino Bots, Wallace and Grommit, Royal Marines, Spitfire Women, Wild coasts, Migratory Birds, and others. Wallace and Grommit stamps you can buy individually as well.


Christmas is just around the corner as you will certainly know when you visit the shop this month as the seasonal displays begin, and there will be many sweetmeats to tempt you, or for you to buy for your friends. As the present buying season gets into full swing and you are running out of ideas, you may consider a Multi-Store gift card, you can get a leaflet (and the card) from the Post Office and put up to £50 on it.


After buying your Xmas cards  at the shop remember that you can post them there too. Stamps are available over the counter even if the post office is closed. (Nearer Christmas time there will be extra PO opening hours.)


Warm wishes, Bardy Griffiths.

On behalf of Shop Committee.

Halstock Community Shop

September 2022 Update


I’m writing this in 30 degrees, pleased to be in my relatively cool office, and looking forward to cooler and wetter days by the time of publication. (That was a sentence I never imagined writing).The autumnal equinox is on Friday 23rd September at 0203, something else hard to imagine in these sweltering days. The heat has made nature put on a spurt to get its job done so we have conkers before schools go back, and blackberries in July.

Luckily our shop is, and has been a haven of cool; stylish, sophisticated and refeshing! We do our best! Certainly the air conditioning has been a boon, Barry was thinking of charging customers to come in for a cool, not many takers though.

The staff and volunteers who have guided us through this hot season are geared up for the change and the stock as ever is appropriate whatever the weather; fresh fruit and veg, ice cream, coldl fruit drinks, wine and beer. Lots of books on sale for afternoons in the shade. Time to take advantage of the late summers harvest and get making jam or chutnies.

Harvest Festival time, if not attending a communal one have your own for the family. Pumpkins and squashes should be ripening, if they are available we will stock them. Apple and blackberry crumble take precedence over ice cream, though an icream accompianment is delicious.


Have a joyful shop visit for the groceries and the extras; the good humour, and keeping up to date with the village news; admiring the window displays, and very likely, meeting friends. Stay longer and have a coffee in the community room, and don’t forget Thursdays are coffee mornings in the CR


Best wishes to all,


Bardy Griffiths 9 August 2022

For the Shop Committee

Halstock Community Shop

August 22 Update


Our regular customers will notice some new faces in our shop. Firstly, we said ‘Good Bye’ to Rachel, our assistant manager, at the end of June. Rachel was the shop’s Poet Laureate, writing witty and wise words on the blackboard outside of the shop. She was also responsible for some magnificent window displays. We wish here all the best for the future, and as she lives nearby, see her on the other side of the counter as a customer.

We give a warm welcome to Judy Brooker as our new part time assistant manager. She joins Barry and Graham our other paid staff, both of whom do a brilliant job in keeping the shop running smoothly. However, without our volunteers making up the remaining hours the shop would not be viable, and it is a Community Shop after all. So, it is with a huge ‘thank you’ that we welcome Clair and Graham Leech and Peter Sutton who have offered to join us. We hope you enjoy being in the shop and look forward to working with you.

So, August has come round again. It was named after Caesar Augustus in 8 BC, but that is enough history. The abundance of National Days is far more interesting. If you lived in Bolivia the 6th would be Independence Day, and Repentance Day in Papua New Guinea is on the 26th. However, the quirkiest ones are in America. The whole month appears to be dedicated to culinary celebration.  Did you know that the 25th is National Banana Split Day? The 3rd is White Wine Day the 16th National Rum Day and the 1st National Milkshake Day. Those of you with a sweet tooth might like to keep the 15th clear to be able to celebrate National Lemon Meringue Pie Day, or the 24th National Waffle Day (I’m not making this up-honestly). For a healthier option the 22nd is National Eat a Peach Day. Even the humble potato has its day on the 19th. 

Now, should you wish to celebrate any or all of these special days, you will be pleased to know that our shop can supply you with all the ingredients to help you do so in style.

Finally, if you have celebrated with over enthusiasm and gusto (why am I thinking white wine and rum!) and you have annoyed someone, have no fear because the 25th is National Kiss-and-Make-Up Day!

Happy shopping

Robert Wilkinson on behalf of the Shop Committee.

Halstock Community Shop

July 2022 Update


Sunny July signifies summer and all of its radiant glory we hope, just not too hot. But in In these warmer times even in England the sun can be strong so don’t be caught without sun screen and after-sun lotion. All available in the shop. If you are heading to the Volkfest at Wareham on 8th July or to Bridport for the Jurassic music festival also on 8th July or even the South Cider Festival also in Bridport then maybe you would like to pop in he shop for nibbles and water to put in your bag/rucksack and some cash so you don't get caught short.

If gardening rather than sunbathing or festivals is your thing, you’ll still need the sunscreen, and then grab a few plants to fill those spaces left by spring flowers. They go quickly so don’t miss out.

Summer fruits will have arrived, with doughnut peaches and nectarines, and the more traditional shapes. We are also keeping our usual stock of other fruits (and veg!) so check out the chiller. And there will be no shortage of strawberries for Wimbledon fortnight.

Walking around the shop yesterday and really looking, rather than just grabbing and going, my usual style, I was freshly impressed by the full shelves, the range, the attractiveness of the displays, well done our wonderful staff, and volunteers. And on the subject of volunteers, could you be persuaded to join in? 

Your Shop NEEDS you.

A few hours a week would be incredibly helpful and would help spread the load. If you’ve even a slight inkling that you might enjoy it, then believe me, you will. You would be welcome to give it a go for a few weeks and drop out if it’s ‘not for you’.


Don't forget to get your holiday cash at the Post Office....change for those car parks maybe.

If you are not quite sure what to buy for a small Birthday present or just a  gift then Stamp presentation packs could always be an interesting idea.  Also we do many gift cards that you can charge up with anything between £10 and £120 ideal for wedding ,birthday or maybe a thank you


The coffee mornings run by the local church supporters on Thursday mornings are back and the 'home made' cakes are flying out.  This is a great chance to have a look around the shop at the same time as getting to know other locals.

Happy holidays!


Bardy Griffiths

On behalf of the Community Shop Committee. June 9 2022

Halstock Community Shop

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!


Bardy Griffiths

On behalf of the Community Shop Committee. May 9 2022

Halstock Village Shop 

May Update


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.

Diana Staines 

on behalf of the Community Shop Committee April 10 2022

Halstock Community Shop

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 


Halstock Community Shop

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.



Diana Staines

On behalf of the Shop Committee  8 Feb 2022

Click the button for the ITV video.

Halstock Community Shop

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

Halstock Community Shop

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. 


Diana Staines

On behalf of the Shop Committee  6 Dec 2021

Halstock Community Shop

December 2021 Update

December, a time to reflect on the passing of the year. For us in the shop it has been another busy one. Not as hectic as the time of the first lockdown last year, nevertheless our sales have remained significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels. It is encouraging that we have maintained the loyalty of our old customers (I mean the ones who have been with us a long time – not their age of course!), and now also have customers who ‘found’ us as a result of the lockdowns. 

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

Halstock Community Shop

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. 


Keep safe.

Bardy Griffiths 

On behalf of the Community Shop Committee. Oct 9 2021




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.


Diana Staines

On behalf of village shop committee Sept 10 2021

Halstock Community Shop

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.



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


Halstock Community Shop

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.

Diana Staines.

(May 9 2021. On behalf of the village shop committee)


Halstock Community Shop

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. 


Halstock Community Shop

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.


Diana Staines.

(March 9 2021. On behalf of the village shop committee)


Halstock Community Shop

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)

Halstock Community Shop

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

Halstock Community Shop

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.


Diana Staines

(On behalf of the shop committee. December 9 2020)




This is an interim report prepared for the Village Meeting. The Company’s Financial Statements for the year ending 31 May 2019, which will be issued later in the year, will be sent to shareholders and made available on the village web-site.  Copies of the Financial Statements for the year ended 31 May 2018 are available at this meeting for anyone who has not already seen them.   


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

Richard Fry

15 May 2019

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