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Wendy's Shop

page created 1st July 2007, amended/updated Monday, 19 November 2012
wendy's shop
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The late Helen Barry for her article in the Welney News.
Elaine Sweetman ofTpps End for her drawing of the shop.

If you think this report is incorrect, incomplete or unfair, please e-mail the webmaster, and your response will be added.
Sadly our post office and shop, officially "The Post Office Stores", but known locally simply as "Wendy's", closed in June 2007.

Below is a brief outline of what our shop meant to Welney. At the bottom of this page are details of the retail & postal services we now have. Pete and Wendy Redman provided a personal and friendly service from their premises in New Road, offering a wide range of goods including groceries, newspapers bottled gas and fishing equipment.  The shop had an off-licence, and the post office also provided banking facilities. The shop was open Monday to Saturday with early closing on Saturday. A daily van delivery service operated seven days a week.

Pete and Wendy served Welney since March 1976. To mark her 30 years as post-mistress, Wendy received a certificate from the Post Office, and as a thank you from the community she was presented with a bouquet of flowers from several villagers according to a report in the Welney News. Many felt at the time that more could, perhaps should, have been done. As a tribute from me, the webmaster, to both Wendy and Pete, I re-published an extract from an article written by the late Helen Barry in 1997 in Issue 1 of the "Welney News" which described their wonderful service far better than I ever could. The superb drawing above from the same article is by Elaine Sweetman, from Tipps End.
"What does our village shop offer? Well, in practical terms a shop that caters for most of our basic needs. Fresh milk, bread, butter, ham, sausages, bacon and eggs, salad and vegetables, tinned and frozen food, sweets and biscuits and food for the cat and dog, greetings cards, sauces and tissues, washing lines and needles and cotton, an off licence, bottled gas and newpapers and magazines (delivered if you wish) and headache pills and bananas and lemon and garlic; mobile fish and meat salesmen visit once a week, and most of the needs of fishermen are met from rods, wellies, nets and bait. All that and a post office for stamps and pensions, parcels and licences and almost all your needs in paying bills. But there is a good deal more.

There is Pete travelling to stock the shop and buy fresh vegetables and fruit, as well driving miles in the morning to deliver newspapers. And there is Wendy, there behind the counter from six-thirty in the morning until six in the evening.  Wendy knows everyone, helps everyone and is one of the social centres for the entire village. Think about it. Wendy is really the only daily point of information for all of us.  The Newsletter can give you information in advance but it isn't there on a day to day basis. Wendy will pass on messages, tell you the date of any event in the village and whether the Friendship bus is full for its next outing. Wendy will tell delivering tradesmen where to find you and will take local adverts free on her counter. She will tell you how deep the wash road is flooded and who has been birthed, married or died, or indeed taken to hospital and may welcome a visit. In a discreet way she is a central point of all village information.

This article is........a reminder of what we gain from having a village shop and asking you what the village would be like without it. Perhaps you treat it as a place for fresh milk and veg, or somewhere for that odd thing you want which isn't worth the bother or expense of driving to a supermarket. But the point is that when you want it, it is there. The shop is part of the village - you expect it to be that way and Wendy treats it that way. She makes up orders for those who can't get to the shop and she and Pete deliver them. She advertises village events, activities and things for sale, she makes up fruit baskets for local raffles and for special celebrations; she chats without gossiping and does far more than open a shop and serve from the counter. All customers from children to pensioners - and everyone in between - are given courtesy and time. Some people think too much time, as they wait in a queue, but they usually change their minds when their turn comes and they are able to shop in a relaxed way with no pressures and a good deal of help.

Think what Welney would be without a shop and post office and a centre like this."
Since September 2008, after fifteen months without a post office in Welney, the Post Office has provided a mobile service each afternoon for about an hour, at the Lamb & Flag car park. For details, and also location of local post boxes and collection times, see link below.

The post office in Christchurch has also been closed so the nearest full time post offices are now at Manea and Littleport.

We did have a newspaper delivery service again, thanks to Silvia Kitching, but sadly that too ceased in mid Feb 2009 due to ill-health. We do still have a weekly wet-fish van service (stops in New Road, Friday mid-day)

But there's nothing to replace all the other services that Wendy provided as described so well in Helen Barry's article.

Related pages on this website
Shop closure June 2007
Presentation from Tipps Enders
Presentation from Welneyites
Current postal services
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