A small village shop in rural West Somerset has reached the regional finals of the Countryside Alliance Awards 2019.
Central Stores Stogumber, which is run by Roger Howe, is a local village shop and Post Office in the remote village of Stogumber, which nestles between Exmoor and the Quantock Hills.
The awards, also known as the ‘Rural Oscars’, review thousands of nominations and select nine regional champions from five categories. The winning five finalists will be given the title of national rural champions in a ceremony attended by MPs and ministers.
As well as offering Post Office services during the week, Central Stores stocks a wide selection of groceries, provisions and gifts. The shop is an important hub for the village where people can meet others and find out about what is going on in their local community. Roger’s additional services include selling tickets for local events, supporting charitable and environmental initiatives, delivering groceries to disabled residents and offering local businesses and craftspeople the chance to promote and sell their products and services within the shop. Roger’s wife Anne, who is disabled, runs the store’s website and Facebook page and has a particular interest in helping to protect the local environment through recycling initiatives.
“We are so thrilled to have reached the finals of this prestigious competition,” said Roger. “Central Stores has received nominations from people in the village as well as from those living elsewhere who have used it when on holiday or visiting family, and we are very proud to be a valued hub in the community.”
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PHOTO AT TOP: Local residents celebrating the publication of Circular Walks around Stogumber, which is available to purchase in Central Stores for £3.