Village store set to close

Swarland Post Office
Swarland Post Office

A village shop and Post Office will close its doors in August after failing to be sold.

Brian Sanderson and his wife Brenda have run the village store in Swarland for years but put it on the market in 2011.

But now the couple has taken the decision to close after not being able to sell it and put a notice on the door last week.

The shop forms part of the Sandersons’ home and they intend to remain in the village once it is closed.

Mr Sanderson said: “I know there is a mix of emotions.

“Generally people understand. We have got a notice on the door which explains why we are doing this.

“We made the decision for personal and lifestyle reasons and we recognise that this will cause disappintment to members of the community.

“We are genuinely sorry to our regular customers. We will still live here and hope people understand the reasons for our decision.”

Suzanne Stanley, chairman of Newton on the Moor and Swarland Parish Council, said: “Parish council members are just members of the community, so have the same views about the closure as most others. We’ll miss both the shop and the post office.

“It will be a loss to the parish both as a material resource and as a focal point – people meet and chat as they’re coming and going.

“The greatest loss will be to those without transport now that we don’t have a regular bus service.

“Most of us are guilty of under-using the facility – we shop elsewhere and buy just newspapers and forgotten items in the village shop.

“Nevertheless it is a successful business and it’s frustrating that Brian has had it on the market for two years without success, so what else can he now do?

“I hear some residents wondering whether a community shop could replace it.

“If that’s what residents want, then maybe a group will form to explore the option, but not necessarily in the current premises as they are an integral part of the Sandersons’ home.

“Members of the parish council wish Brian and Brenda Sanderson all the best.”