Saturday, May 18th, 2024

Weald Community Shop manager appeals for a new team to take store into the 2020’s

WEALD residents packed the Memorial Hall recently to celebrate the second anniversary of the opening of the village community shop which was set up following the closure of Susan’s, the last remaining village store.

The shop, in the refurbished Methodist Chapel, is managed by Ian Walker and Karen Elsom and run with the help of a team of volunteers. Ian, who played a major part in the development of the shop, gave a presentation to the audience at the anniversary get together during which he made plea to villagers.

He said: “To describe where Karen and I are after this time, I’d like use the analogy of a plane flight. We took off two years ago, we’ve climbed ever since, met a little turbulence here and there, but we are now at a cruising altitude with everything steady and fairly routine.

“But two years is a long haul, the pilots are weary and what we would really like is to invite some of you to consider forming a new management team, with fresh ideas, who are prepared to take the shop forward, into the 2020s, so that, in due course we will be able to pass our responsibilities over and step down.

“We anticipate that it will require between three and five people, to cover everything, without taking up an unreasonable amount of time for any of the team.”

Since then a meeting has been held in Weald and several people have expressed an interest in helping out but the post of shop manager still needs to be filled.

Ian has provided a short description of what is involved. This position offers a small salary and the main responsibilities of this role are:

1. To be the figurehead of the shop in the eyes of our customers and to be welcoming, attentive and responsive to them and volunteers alike.

2. To ensure that stock is kept to a certain level and always fresh and well presented.

3. To place orders with various suppliers, to replenish as necessary and enter orders placed in the shop’s inventory management system.

4. To ensure that various food hygiene, health and safety, fire prevention and cleaning routines are up-to-date and adhered to.

5. To be both decisive and fair If anyone would like to find out more about being part of a new management team phone Ian on 07811 122010.

HAPPY 112th BIRTHDAY GWEN: Weald resident Gwen Payne celebrated her 112th birthday on 5 August, making her Britain’s oldest resident. She lives at Lovely Cottage on Gracious Lane, but did you know how the property was named?

After Gwen and her husband, John, moved into Weald Place Lodge, (previously the coachman cottage and gardener’s cottage) on her great uncle’s estate, John took part in a sweepstake at his London Club.

The horse he drew was called ‘Lovely Cottage’, and John decided he would also place a £5 bet to win at odds of 20 – 1. The horse won the race and as the name had proved so lucky, Weald Lodge, became ‘Lovely Cottage, a name it has had ever since.

ALLOTMENT OPEN DAY: The Weald allotments were looking in fine fettle for the recent Open Day when there was a wonderful array of flowers and traditional vegetables on show. This year, Keith Boys was the ‘winner of winners’ and was given the Evelyn Paige cup awarded by the Parish Council.

Tucked down in the furthest corner of the allotments is a plot which from 1914 was worked on by the boys from the village school under the supervision of headteacher, Mr Percy. It remained being worked by schoolboys until the Kent Education Committee gave up the allotment in 1947.

SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME: CAMEO – the Come and Meet Each Other group from St George’s Church – organised another successful ‘Holiday and Home’ over a period of three days recently. Participants enjoyed a range of activities including cake decoration, card-making and a new activity called ‘Hexagrows’ based on shapes you can find in nature.

WEALD RUN: The village is gearing up for he 14th annual Weald St George’s 10K and Fun Run on Sunday 1 September at 10.30am. It is a ‘whole village’ activity requiring a large number of volunteers to register and marshall the runners, to run the warm up session, hand out water en-route, to grill the hot dogs and burgers for after the race and to make sure everyone receives their medal.

For information visit the website

The Weald Village news is compiled by Susan Gidman. If you have any news or events you would like her to consider for the village column you can call her on 01732 454222 or email it to her at:

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