Manager Andy Giles Phone: 01643 841582
The benefits of having a shop in our community are numerous and important. The village shop acts as an informal social centre; it’s a place to meet neighbours and to catch up on village news and issues. The Village Shop is often the only social meeting point for some residents, and for many elderly people this can be the only opportunity to meet up with other residents of the village.
It is also a place to advertise jobs, items for sale and wanted, read about local events and to buy tickets. It can be a drop-off and collection point for parcels. It is an important information point for delivery drivers, visitors, health workers and house hunters. It’s also a safe place for children to learn how to shop.
The shop also offers a Post Office service, together with an enormous range of goods and services, such as an off-licence section, fresh bread and pastries, chilled and frozen products, general groceries, newspapers, magazines and stationery, exclusive cakes from Dulverton, fresh sausages and bacon from Kendle Farm, Dulverton. Local produce is also stocked, providing an outlet for local producers. Our Village Shop is a tremendous facility for such a small village!
- Mon-Sat. 8.00 am – 1.00pm
- Sun 9.00am – 11.00am
Post office not open on Fridays.
- MEDICATION: We are the distribution agent for the Dunster Surgery and you can collect your medication from the Village Shop.
- BOOK EXCHANGE: We have several hundred books for purchase at approximately 80p each. There is a refund if you return the book in exchange for another
- HONEY: Local honey available, made in Wootton Courtenay
- LAUNDRY AND DRY CLEANING: We are the agents for Dulverton Laundry. Garments are collected and delivered on a Thursday morning.
- LYNTON CINEMA: Their current programme is advertised on the shop door.
- EXMOOR INFORMATION: We keep a selection of local walks, maps and information provided by the Exmoor Tourist Information. Most of this is free
Improvements to the shop
New Post Office counter and computer equipment. Andy our brilliant shopkeeper has made some substantial improvements to the shop. Early in the year, he obtained a large grant from the Post office to move and upgrade the village post office. The post office counter has been updated and moved into the main shop and rewiring has taken place to accommodate a new and improved computer system.The new counter with its attractive design has improved the look and ambience of the shop and means that it is easier for customers to use the post office and shop at the same time.
Skye’s Bar The second project has involved many members of the village in offering practical and financial support. Following a money raising lunch which raised £1,080, the old post office and storage area has been expertly converted into a village room with a coffee area and licensed bar. In memory of Andy’s beautiful dog Skye, we have called the new area Skye’s Bar. Andy’s networking skills have been used to the full! He has gained the support of many villagers who have contributed their building and decorating skills to make an attractive and comfortable area for the use of the village. The coffee bar will be available during shop hours and on request. The licensed bar will be open for one or two evenings per week. Opening hours for both the coffee bar and licensed bar will be adjusted according to village wishes and practical experience. The picture below shows many of the contributors to the construction of Skye’s Bar enjoying a celebration evening at the end of June.
Both these projects will ensure that the shop remains an essential village amenity and a cohesive and friendly meeting point for villagers. Our village shop is essential and we are determined to ensure that it remains an important part of our village. Our grateful thanks are due to Andy for his enthusiasm and commitment to the shop and village.
Enjoying the new bar
Wootton Courtenay Villagers’ Stores Ltd.
Registered Company Number 02571795
Why do we have a company?
The freehold of the village shop is owned by a non profit making village owned company whose sole purpose is to provide a vibrant general stores within our village and to ensure that the property is well maintained on behalf of the village.
The company was formed in 1991 in order to raise money to purchase the freehold of the existing village shop and living accommodation. The money was raised by the issue of debentures with attached shares. Shareholders understand that they will receive no dividends and that their shareholding has no value unless they can find a village purchaser. The sole reason for owning shares is to provide a shop in our village.
From time to time, shares do become available for sale. If you are interested, please contact the Secretary or Chairman.
The shop was quickly purchased by the company on behalf of the village and, since that time, the company has leased the property to tenants on a very low ‘peppercorn’ rent on the understanding that they run the village shop. The low rent means that running costs are lower and a small but satisfactory living can be made from the shop.
The income from the rental is used to pay annual landlords’ running costs, maintenance and improvements, and to maintain a small capital reserve for a ‘rainy day’. Any further income is ploughed back into the running of the shop by giving our tenants, ‘rent holidays’ especially during the winter months when trade can be slower.
The company is managed by an annually elected Chairman, Secretary and Board of Directors. An Annual General Meeting, to which all shareholders are invited, is held in August each year. During this meeting the Chairman and Secretary present annual reports, the annual accounts are presented, a new committee is elected and there is an opportunity for shareholders to share ideas for the development of the shop.
THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING FOR 2020
In the interests of village safety during the Covid crisis, the directors have decided to postpone the 2020 AGM until safer times, All the annual formal and legal obligations have been completed including the annual returns sent to Company House and Inland Revenue.
The information required for the AGM is given below.
The Company Directors
Eddie Bishop (Chairman), Peter Clapham (Secretary), Lesley Roake, Sally Farmer, Margaret Smith, Paddy Parnell, George Burnell (retired August 2019) and John Bell (retired August 2019). The Directors recommend the appointment of Mr Stan Moore as Director from 14th July, 2020 subject to ratification at the next AGM.
The Company Secretary’s Report For 2020
Our village shop continues to play a central part in the life of the village. It has an active and happy atmosphere and our tenant Andy Giles is continuing to work hard and successfully to maintain and improve the shop’s position as a vital village amenity.
Following the success of the Post Office renewal project in which the post office was moved into the main shop and was completely updated with an attractive new counter and modern computer and security systems, Andy, in consultation with the Directors, decided to convert the old post office and storage area into an attractive social area for the village.
This project has involved many members of the village in offering practical and financial support. Following a money raising lunch which raised £1,080, some kind private donations and a grant of £860 from the company, the redundant area has been expertly converted into a village room with a coffee and licensed bar. Andy’s networking skills have been used to the full! He has gained the support of many villagers who have contributed their building and decorating skills to make an attractive and comfortable area for the use of the village. The coffee bar will be available during shop hours and on request. The licensed bar will be open for one or two evenings per week. Opening hours for both the coffee bar and licensed bar will be adjusted according to village wishes and practical experience. The project has been remarkably successful and has added another income stream for our shop keeper. Unfortunately, the Covid 19 restrictions have meant that the project has yet to reach its full potential during 2020.
Your Directors are pleased that both these projects will ensure that the shop remains an essential village amenity and a cohesive and friendly meeting point for villagers. Our village shop is essential and we are determined to ensure that it remains an important part of our village. Our grateful thanks are due to Andy for his enthusiasm and commitment to the shop and village.
In spite of the previous two financial years having lower than normal income, our capital reserve is now returning to our planned contingency level of £10,000. Our capital reached £8,643 in January 2020 and, at the time of writing, stands at £9,954. Once we have reached our contingency level, the Directors will be planning to offer financial support to our shopkeeper in the form of rent holidays. In this way we help to ensure that we keep a good shop in the village and have enough contingency capital to maintain and repair our property. Further information on the accounts can be found by clicking on the red INCOME AND EXPENDITURE and FULL FORMAL ACCOUNTS link buttons below..
Although not strictly in the 2019/2020 financial year, I must report on the shop during the Covid19 crisis. Andy, with the help of floor tape and clear notices, arranged a one way system through the shop with hand sanitiser available at the entrance. Only two people were allowed in at one time. This excellent system is still in operation. To help many of the more elderly villagers who were ‘locking down’ at home, the shop offered a home ordering and delivery service which was operated by a team of willing village volunteers. Grateful thanks must go to Andy who organized and operated the whole scheme and to the team of delivery volunteers.
The shop continues to serve our village effectively and with your support will continue to do so for years to come.
Peter Clapham, Company Secretary.
Income and Expenditure 1st February, 2019 to 31st January, 2020
Attached below is an explanation of all income and expenditure during the financial year. Click link below.
Formal Company Accounts for 2019 to 2020