Contact Pauline Sheppard on 01635 578177 for further information
When the village shop closed in August 2002, not only was the convenience of being able to buy a wide range of goods locally lost, but a large gap appeared in the social fabric of the village, particularly for those without transport, and those not closely associated with other village activities such as the cricket team or the pub.
A questionnaire was sent out to all villagers, asking for suggestions and ideas, but as is the normal outcome for these things, few people were able to respond, and there were only a small number of really practical suggestions.
To address this, the Parish Council asked a group of people to look into the possibilities. It was soon clear that realistically the only solution would be a volunteer organisation, spreading the load over a number of people, based in a central location such as the village hall and operating on Saturday mornings (when people were most readily available to run it). Following a village meeting, a committee was elected to run the 'shop' as follows:
Perhaps surprisingly, one of the most difficult problems to solve was the name of the organisation. Using the words 'shop', 'store', 'market' or similar has significant connotations with the local council and trading standards, and potentially involves great expense to ensure that all the relevant laws and regulations are complied with. Agreement was reached with the council that 'Aldworth Saturday Stalls' would be acceptable for the ad-hoc social nature of the 'shop', which could be run without undue interference from statutory bodies.[to complete: w+m;cold storage;papers;bread;veg;tea/coffee...]