On Saturday our village had a parade to mark the official opening of the village shop. The village shop isn't new and it has never closed, so to have an official 'opening' may seem a little odd, but really this was the celebration of the village taking over the shop when the previous owners retired. When we first looked at the house we now live in, we were so pleased to see that alongside a school, a pub and a tearoom, there was a shop and post office, not to mention a thriving community. Then, not long after we moved we heard that the shop was for sale - would this be a good thing (new blood, new ideas) or a bad thing (might the shop [and post office] shut)? As it happens, it has been wonderful: the shop is now owned by the village and is run by a very efficient manageress, a small team of paid employees and a large team of volunteers. The shop has been extended and given a facelift, it now stocks a fabulous array of local produce (some extremely local, such as cakes and jams made in the village): bread, meat, cheese, fruit and vegetables, and plenty of other food and non-food items (not to mention my Martha Stewart magazine, which is ordered in specially - aren't I the lucky one?!) And the post office is still in residence, so all is good in the world.
So, we walked around to the meeting point.
And we admired the horses.
DC took a shine to this car in particular.
Then it was time to start the parade - cars at the front, then the horse and cart, then the horses and then the lowly pedestrians.
And guess who got to ride on the horse and cart?
One very proud little boy, waving his 'our shop' flag.
Here we are outside of hubby's favourite house in the village.
And here's hubby making friends with man's best friend.
Finally, the parade ended outisde the shop where the chairman gave a little speech, the vicar made a blessing, the manageress gave a speech, the village's resident Lady cut the ribbon and the village's resident OBE blew a salute on his trumpet/horn thing. I think it's fair to say the shop was well and truly opened.
And then came the part that DC had been waiting for - the chance to go into the shop and buy some chocolate buttons. Oh, and on the way home we called in at the pub for a drink. All in all, a couple of hours well spent!