Village emergency shop opening day hailed ‘great success’

PUBLISHED: 08:00 24 April 2020

Brent Knoll Emergency Shop opened on Saturday.Picture: Brent Knoll Emergency Shop

Brent Knoll Emergency Shop opened on Saturday.Picture: Brent Knoll Emergency Shop

Brent Knoll Emergency Shop

A village emergency shop opening was a ‘great success’ at the weekend.

Caroline Chennells and John Mathews standing beside Brent Knoll Village Shop.Caroline Chennells and John Mathews standing beside Brent Knoll Village Shop.

Wells MP James Heappey opened the store with a ribbon-cutting ceremony via livestream video-link from his home on Saturday.

Village shop project lead, David Sturgess, said: “From start to finish, we were all thrilled with how our first day went.

“Perhaps the most special moment of the day was when a customer asked for a 100th birthday card, which was among the items of stock from the former shop, so we had a surprised and happy customer – thanks to the continued help we’re getting from Caroline Chennells, the shop owner.

“It was uplifting to see how, despite strict distancing rules, and rain showers the many people who came to the opening and were enjoying the opportunity to gossip and joke while waiting patiently in a queue.”

The volunteer store team stocked essential food items at Brent Knoll Emergency Shop from fruit and vegetables, milk, flour, eggs and fresh bread on opening day.

Staff will also work to pre-order newspapers and many perishable food items at the store in the coming weeks and the team is now appealing for buskers to perform outside the store.

David added: “We were thrilled to see how this queuing experience provides our villagers with a chance to catch up with neighbours from a safe distance, but it can be a long wait, so entertainment from a busker would be great.

“I know that Brent Knoll is not London, where there are buskers in almost every street, but there must be musicians in our area who could entertain our customers.

“Right now, we’re trying to engage with a major garden centre to supply the vegetable and flower plants that no-one can get because garden centres are closed, but we need buskers to keep our customers cheered while they have to wait in a queue.”

Brent Knoll’s Emergency Shop opens Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 9-11am, and is closed on Wednesdays and Sundays.

The team plans to produce and distribute a price list for customers to submit orders in the shop or by phone or email soon.

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