Stokeinteignhead is a little Devon village idyllically located just south of the Teign Estuary and is sufficiently clear of the main roads from Torquay to Shaldon and Torquay to Newton Abbot to retain its tranquillity. I'm mentioning it today because it is a particularly special day for its inhabitants - the shop having closed along with the Post Office, the latter a victim of the Royal Mail closure programme, the villagers have got together to open a community shop. So today saw the ribbon being cut and this welcome facility is officially open for business.
Evidently the community spirit is alive and well in Stokeinteignhead, they have a recently rebuilt village hall, a church, school and now a shop up and running because the residents cared enough to input some money and also to run the establishment. They had some funding from outside as well including a useful grant from the 'Plunkett Foundation' whose website is here. I'll let you read what this charity is about from their home page but would just mention that they have a special interest in setting up community shops. A lady from their organisation was interviewed on the radio this morning and pointed out that Devon had more village community shops than any other county, no less than 17 in fact! Even allowing for the size of the shire and that it is predominantly rural in nature this is still a good achievement. Incidentally, when one links through to 'Rural Community Shops' from the homepage I notice that there is a picture of the new Berrynarbor Shop and Post Office. That village in North Devon, not far from Combe Martin and Ilfracombe and slightly inland from the coast, is another of those special places that abound in my two counties.
Back to Stokeinteignhead then. I notice that they have a very pleasing village website which you can see if you click here. At the end of the day it is the inhabitants that make an English Village. Certainly if I'm over that side of Devon I would want to visit the shop. They are keen to promote the produce of the local area and that is great to see!
NOTE: I ran through the facilities in this village in this piece but note that I failed to mention the pub! Tut tut! Plenty of info about 'The Church House Inn' on the village website.