Roars of triumph as village buys back its post office

Villagers gathered to celebrate their auction success
Villagers gathered to celebrate their auction success

A ‘huge roar’ could be heard in an auction house on Friday as Findon residents celebrated buying back their village store.

After the post office and shop suddenly closed at the end of May, residents were left without a general store closer than Findon Valley.

But that was not to be the end, with villagers banding together to raise money to buy the shop as a community.

After a brief but hugely successful fundraising period, the community campaign was able to buy the store at auction on Friday.

Chairman of Findon Parish Council Peter Goldsworthy, who led the buyout, said: “It’s fantastic, the whole village is euphoric.

“A huge roar went up when the hammer went down and we got it.”

Not only did the villagers win the auction, they paid far less than they were expecting.

Funds in the region of £400,000 were raised for the auction, but the freehold was purchased for £350,000.

Peter said: “We are in good shape.

“We have now got enough cash in hand to do everything we need to do in preparing the shop with refitting and restocking, repairing the hole in the roof, paying our legal expenses, and buying any necessary equipment.”

Hopes are high that the venture will be a great success, with villagers being asked to think of items they would like the store to sell.

Peter added: “We are very confident that there will be absolutely no problem here because all the villagers are so desperate to have it back.

“One idea is for as many villagers as possible to put in a list of the ten items that they would like the store to sell, other than the obvious bread, milk, and newspapers.”

Lists should be given in at Peckhams Butchers. The store does not intend to stock items that will compete with other Findon businesses.

Staff are being recruited now, with hopes the shop will open on September 1.

Villagers who want to buy a share or get involved should contact Peter Goldsworthy at petergoldsworthy44@gmail.com or on 01903 873799.