The Citizen Thursday, April 26, 2007

Now that’s the spirit!
By Steve Larner
Work beings on the new Shop & Post Office 2007
Community spirit is well on the way to reintroducing an ‘endangered species’ in the countryside – the village shop!
Castlethorpe lost its general store and Post Office just over two year ago.
Initially the parish council sought local support for re-instating it with a majority of residents in favour.
A steering group was formed and various sites identified and considered.
In November 2005 longstanding councillor Bert Tapp negotiated with Milton Keynes Council to buy a spot in The Chestnuts for a nominal £1.
But progress stalled and following another public meeting, a new steering group was formed in October 2006 by villager Ian Markham.
Meanwhile fellow resident Peter Haynes had secured a Post Office Rural Re-start grant and a grant matching loan from the Village Retail Services Association ViRSA – with other money about £100,000 in all, said Cllr Tapp.
“We decided to form a company, the Castlethorpe Village Shop Association, to build it, leasing the land from the Parish Council,” he said.
This week all three were on site to help finish off the footings for the venture which, after now securing a manager to run it, could be open this summer.
“It has been a real team effort by the villagers and residents,” said Bert.
“The vital thing will be, once the shop is up and running, for local people to use it.
“The message is simple ‘use it – or lose it - again!” he said.

Progress report May 21st 2007
Good progress has been made in the building of the shop and Post Office as can be seen here.
Castlethorpe Post Office & shop - May 21st 2007
Paddy Atkinson
Paddy Atkinson
Paddy filling the buckets from a water bowser in the Castle Field
The water is carried across the road
to fill the barrels

Progress report June 1st 2007
Paddy Atkinson building the gable end
Paddy Atkinson is building the gable end while Andy Webster mixes the concrete and lays blocks in the floor

Progress report June 5th 2007
Progress report June 13th 2007
The roof has already been felted and is ready for tiling
The roof has been tiled

Progress report June 23rd 2007
Steve Hall - electrician
Steve Hall - electrician

July 21st 2007 Opening Day
Dina & Udi Modhwadia
Dina & Udi Modhwadia the new proprietors
Villagers assemble for the opening

L-R: Bert Tapp, the Mayor & Ian Markham
prior to the opening
The opening of the Post Office & Village Shop at 3 p.m. by the Mayor of Milton Keynes, Cllr. Mike Barry accompanied by his wife Cheryl (Bert Tapp on left).

Udi welcomes the villagers to the new store
The first customers Mayor Mike Barry, followed by
Gilda Spinnelli, Rene West, Pam Homer

Ruby Maltby (centre) talking to Phil Tapp (right)
All were invited to the Village Hall for refreshments