Mary Stubbs officially opened the new village shop at the Greyhound Inn at Cotehill on Thursday with support from Pub is The Hub.
Alastair and Julie Musgrave have been running the Greyhound for two years and have built a local reputation for good simple pub food which is appreciated by locals and visitors. They run regular community events for local people but realised that the closure of the village shop meant a 12-mile round trip into Carlisle for essential items so decided to step in and take on this vital community service.
With some advice from Pub is The Hub’s regional advisor, Malcolm Harrison, and a grant of £3,000 from their Community Services Fund towards the costs, the couple were able to build a small extension to the side of the pub to accommodate the shop.
The shop is open each day from 12 midday to 8pm and has been designed so that whoever is behind the bar will also be able to serve in the shop as well. It is well stocked with fresh daily essentials such as bread and milk as well as convenience items.
Julie Musgrave said: “A lot of people in this village rely on lifts into town, very limited public transport or deliveries – and with a sizeable older population re-opening a village shop seemed like the right thing to do for the community.
“As the pub’s oldest customer Mary is also a regular at the fortnightly coffee afternoons and monthly pensioner’s lunches that we run so it seemed fitting to invite her to officially open the shop. Mary is 96 on 4 August. She likes cream scones which we deliver to her if she can’t get out.”
The regional advisor for Pub is The Hub, Malcolm Harrison said: “I’ve been so impressed by Julie and Alistair’s drive to help their rural population. They’re at the heart of their community and have stepped in to provide a service that is so essential for elderly or isolated residents. I wish them well in this venture and hope they are well supported.”
In addition to the villagers and local population, the shop will also be a boon to a local caravan park during the holiday season.
Photograph above shows Alistair Musgrave, Mary Stubbs, Julie Musgrave and Malcolm Harrison at the entrance to the new shop