Lincolnshire village pub opens a shop  

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The Royal Oak Village Shop was officially opened by Scopwick locals this week creating an essential new service for the local community and surrounding villages with support Pub is The Hub.

The shop was opened by two of the youngest village residents, Evie Tomlinson (aged 4) and Evie Fenwick (aged 12) and one of the older residents, Paul Scholey to demonstrate the breadth of ages that the new service will support. Evie Tomlinson’s great grandmother used to run the village post office years before.

Licensee, Claire Chesters and her son Jason have been running Enterprise Inns pub, The Royal Oak for almost a year and have built up a reputation for excellent home-made food, drinks and a community atmosphere and have recently won the Enterprise Inns Regional Final of the Community Pub Awards.

Inspired by a visit to the pub by Pub is The Hub advisor, Hugh Wilson, Claire and Jason decided to take the plunge and convert an underused side room into a much-need village shop. In addition to offering advice and support, Pub is The Hub was also able to contribute a grant of £4,000 from their Community Services Fund to help towards the cost of conversion.

Opening times are from 10.30am in the morning until the pub closes in the evening. The shop has a separate door to the pub but sits between the bar and kitchen, so with a CCTV system and a door bell, anyone serving behind the bar or working in the kitchen can monitor the room and pop into the shop to serve customers. At the same time a local resident Ian Bissett is volunteering in the shop every afternoon.

In addition to a full range of convenience items, the shop is selling local meat, fruit and vegetables, dairy produce and bread, stamps and will even sell local residents’ windfalls or unwanted garden produce for a donation to a local charity.

Claire Chesters said: “The shop has only been open a couple of weeks but it’s already made a huge difference to villagers. The children who get off the bus after school love popping in for snacks and the older residents enjoy picking up last minute essentials and having a chat without needing to travel miles to the nearest town. We have even offered to pop round with their order if they phone us.”

Hugh Wilson, regional advisor from Pub is The Hub added: “Claire and Jason have made a really wonderful job with this project. As locals to the area they have set out purely with the intention of providing a valuable new service to Scopwick and the surrounding villages and for that, we must applaud them and wish them luck.”

The main photograph shows (from left to right) Evie Fenwick a local resident, Claire Chesters the licensee and Paul Scholey a local resident.