Big society, community action, or just local people taking control of their lives and their village - the Huimshaugh Village Shop is simply the best. The shop was closing and this dedicated band of locals simply decided they were going to run it themselves as a community venture - and in doing so they have transformed the village.
For two years I have welcomed them to Westminster for the prestigious Countryside Alliance Village Shop of the Year. Last year Humshaugh was pipped into second place by Ludwell post office stores near Shaftesbury, Dorset. The year before it was Yarpole Community Shop Association in Herefordshire who took the honours.
The shop at Humshaugh, Northumberland, which was rescued from closure by volunteers four years ago, has once again taken the top regional accolade as top shop in the CA Village Shop category for the North East, ahead of the highly commended Belsay Shop, also in Northumberland.
And delighted chairman of directors Dick Moules declared: “Obviously we are thrilled. It is real recognition that we are moving up and not standing still.
“It’s great to be recognised again – this is three in a row. Now we are hoping for third time lucky in the national category, though at this stage we don’t know who we are up against.”
But in a year when Humshaugh Community Ventures Ltd has introduced a free-hire electric car for the village and renovated the village hall kitchen, it’s hoped the CA judges will finally tip their hats to the shop
If you have not been I urge you to go - it has local people turning their village around day by day, month by month. I look forward to congratulating them on winning on March 13 in westminster