A lady stepped into the shop, as usual it was filled to the brim with flowers and foliage of all colours and varieties. She stood in the doorway, looking slightly perplexed, stepping in, out of the bright sunlight must have caused her to squint. Without moving, she turned her head from left to right, slowly taking in everything that lay before her, before asking “Do you have any carrots?”
The Flower Shop, Pulborough is approaching it’s 3rd anniversary, but before our beautiful little shop became the flower shop, it was a greengrocer. It transpired that our rather bemused customer hadn’t been in for some time and was merely after something to go with her lamb chops!
This got me thinking about all the Ch..ch..changes (imagine I’m doing a David Bowie impression here) we’ve seen in the village over the last three years.
The Flower Shop is smack bang right in the middle of the village. To our left, we have Hennings. Having an independent wine merchant, that stocks an amazing Mandarin liqueur I’d only previously been able to find in France was actually one of the reasons John and I chose to live in Pulborough – especially one that’s in staggering distance from the house!
The fact that it’s an independent store makes all the difference, like me, it has old fashioned rustic charm, a welcoming exterior mixed with (this is where the similarities end) high class sophistication. I can’t imagine the village without Hennings, or maybe, I can’t imagine my life without the odd afternoon tipple!
To our right is Suters, The Butchers another busy, popular shop that often has a queue. Proof again that the independent village shop is still alive and kicking, unlike the produce in the shop.
Opposite, we have Dashing Hounds, this has changed hands in the last year and we miss the lovely Charlotte Howard, but the shop is just what our stylish doggy community needs and the look and style of the shop fits in beautifully.
The corner shop, Pulborough General Stores has been transformed, fully stocked and under new management, Saagar works so hard to give the local community what they want, when they want it, whether it’s a loo roll, a box of fire lighters, somewhere to park or access to a cash machine, Saagar is all ears.
Thankfully there’s been no change in Beneficial Health, the place that keeps me in such fine fettle, they even have healthy chocolate and crisps!!!
We have a real village pub, with Sunday dinners, quiz nights and colourful characters at The Oddfellows !!!! – they also have a splendid array of fresh flowers.
The bank has closed but it’s stunning art deco building has been refurbished and is now home to an estate agent. The Office First shop has closed and is looking for a new occupier. The TEA ROOM has changed hands, Steve & Roz have moved to the other side of the world (I hope it wasn’t something I said). They were a tough act to follow, but Chris & Sallyann are very much part of the Pulborough community and hopefully the TEA ROOM is here to stay, but the surprise news this week is ……….
GATLEYS Pulborough is CLOSING!!!!
Who knows what will appear in it’s place, but what seems most important to people is having an independent business. A place which will attract visitors, browsers and shoppers from the local area and further afield, a place that fits in with the village’s ‘villaginess‘ and understands it’s requirements. Whether people are taking a trip to the dentist or watching wildlife on the brooks, we hope they will stay a little longer than planned, stop for a cuppa in the Tea Room, to buy a pint in the pub, dinner from the butcher, a fine wine from Hennings and a bouquet of fabulous flowers from the friendly village florist.
Oh and carrots from the General Store!