Relief as village shop at heart of community secures continuity

A village shop which has been at the heart of its community for more than four decades is being kept in the family, which means it is business as usual.

David Carr has won numerous awards for his efforts running the much-loved grocers in Longframlington for the past 44 years.

David Carr with his son James, who is taking over the village grocers in Longframlington. Picture by Jane Coltman

David Carr with his son James, who is taking over the village grocers in Longframlington. Picture by Jane Coltman

A stint of ill health earlier this year meant he had to ease off somewhat and the store was put up for sale.

However, there has been a happy ending as David’s son James, along with his wife and two children, have moved back from Manchester to take on the business, although David hasn’t fully retired yet.

James admitted that it was always at the back of his mind that he might take over what is set to be renamed Carrs Family Grocers one day, but it was only when he came back to help during his dad’s illness that it was decided.

He added that the reaction from the community has been great: “When it was put up for sale, everyone was quite concerned if it was going to stay the same or if it would even still be a shop, so it’s been incredibly positive.

David Carr and his son James. Picture by Jane Coltman

David Carr and his son James. Picture by Jane Coltman

“I don’t really think there’s an awful lot that needs changing as it’s a well-established business that lots of people rely on.”

David said: “It’s the best news I could ever wish for, I didn’t think he would do it.

“I’m delighted for myself, his family, the village and the staff. Everything is going to remain virtually the same as it was before.

“It’s the best outcome for me because when I was really concerned that I was going to pass it on to someone who was going to turn it into a cider den or something like that.”

He admitted that it was ‘very strange’ to be stepping back after so many years, but he will still be involved.

On the day the Gazette spoke to the Carrs, David had been out delivering in Swarland and Longhoughton as well as to Proof of the Pudding, near Alnwick, and L Robson & Sons, in Craster, to pick up produce.