The inside of the shop area has been refurbished to receive the shop, with the help of Tom Stobie and a band of generous volunteers. This work is nearly finished. We still have a couple of new doors to fit and the shelving to erect. The plan now is to transfer the shop at the end of November.

Outside, the render is now off the front of the original building and the left-hand side. The render will stay on the extension and the right-hand side, but it will soon be removed from the back wall. From 9th November a firm of conservators will spend about five days cleaning the surface of the brickwork, followed by some local repairs and repointing.

The main door to the shop will be the new door in the left wall, which will be wider and more accessible than the front door. The modern (90s?) porch has been removed from the front in order that we can restore the original brickwork, as seen in the photo below. (That’s Pete Nicholas’ dad Alf, feeding his geese!) We understand that some people mourn the loss of the porch and we are sorry about that. There are bound to be divergent views on some aspects of the refurbishment, but this was discussed at length, and there was a strong majority in favour of restoring the façade as close to its former glory as can be managed. (The right hand porch remains safe.) Ultimately we will probably replace the front door, and may put back the skylight shown in the picture. The same bracket supporting the sign (complete with wrought iron acorns) is now at the other and of the building, and will also be restored.