Page last updated at 11:22 GMT, Saturday, 15 August 2009 12:22 UK

Village shop reopening celebrated

The shop
Villagers are working in the shop on a voluntary basis

Residents in Devon have celebrated the reopening of their village shop, a year after it was forced to close.

The store in Stokeinteignhead had to put up a closed sign when its post office was one of 45 branches closed in the county by Royal Mail.

But residents formed a management committee and raised £38,000 to get the shop up and running again.

A number of villagers bought shares in the business, while other have offered their services free of charge.

Brian Cooke, chairman of the shop committee, said the closure had been a severe loss.

Sweet sampling

"It was not just a place to buy newspapers, bread, milk and so on, but was the heart and soul of the village where they met, socialised, gossiped and found out what was going on," he said.

The committee said the response to the shop was encouraging, but it has appealed for more local volunteers.

Residents turned out in forced for the official ribbon-cutting ceremony, followed by music, dancing, food and drink tastings and sweet sampling.

"I think the shop is good for the village and it will bring the community together," villager Eve Grisewood said.

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Post office closure list released
20 May 08 |  Devon

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