Thursday, October 09, 2008

Here for a season....

Very little seems to have changed to the village square since this picture was taken in 1906. The front of the shop is still the same and it is a comfort to know that the same building has hosted shops in the past.
Part of the fun has been to recreate a picture today in the style of yesterday and a few photographers in the village have risen to the occasion. The results are pleasing and will continue to be displayed in the shop gallery. We are slowly building a picture of the heritage and importance of the shop in our community.

In an era where small shops keep closing, the credit crunch and reversal of mass consumption we concentrate not only on the service we provide but wonder what the social costs have been of closure of shops. There are days when Roger changes batteries in hearing aids, accepts any sort of parcel when people are out, makes deliveries to housebound residents, gives water to thirsty dogs and taps in the code on mobile phone top ups when customers cannot fathom the technology. We sell kindling wood, logs and firelighters now the weather is changing and if a resident is not there at their usual time, we phone them to make sure they are OK.
I wonder whether supermarkets taking over from village shops will be willing to do the same?
People matter to us as much as back in 1906 and we certainly get a lot of job satisfaction from knowing that our role is valued. The little boy in the picture is now an octogenarian and told us he hopes we are not about to leave....well no, we are here for the duration, good and bad times. We just love it when people empty their pockets of pennies, rustle up a small note out of a trouser pocket, leave their wellies covered in sheep dung at the entrance and walk in gingerly with socks, call in at seven in the morning on their way to work, or at six on their way home, even on horseback just to say hello and comment on the day. Being opposite the church gives us a perspective on life while we share in celebrations of births, marriages and deaths. Walking in the churchyard we are surrounded by people we have come to know albeit for a short time. Its a way of life then and now. It also shows us that we are and will be part of history in the future. Here for a season.........

2 comments:

liZZie said...

I enjoy your blog a great deal - I also love Somerset... Wondering if you've seen Woman&Home November issue as on page 168 there's an article about a woman in Bulwick, Northants who took over the village shop (The Pickled' Village'). I know that if I was younger I'd think about doing similar, it's a wonderful thing you're doing.

Anonymous said...

A hundred years ago ! The service you provide sounds wonderful - I hope we go back to being like that but I dont hold out much hope. I would shop there if I lived in your village, I hate supermarkets they make me feel anxious and debilitated - maybe its the lights and noise.
lizzie in chicago