West Down Community Shop

The West Down Community Shop now has it’s own dedicated website – for the latest information go to:


01271 864264





West Down Community Shop Newsletter February 2023

We hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year.

A big THANK YOU to Jan Oades who, you may have noticed, almost entirely ran the shop over the holiday period, this was due to most of the staff and volunteers having Covid!  What a Star!  We are very lucky to have her help.

We are pleased to say that we managed a stock take this year which will give us a truer picture of where we are financially.  This will be confirmed after the accountants have produced our accounts for 2022.

It is a constant battle to staff the shop and we always need more volunteers.  If you think you could help, please, come and talk to us in the shop anytime.  It is a very friendly place to work with nice customers who are usually chatty!  A shift of just 2 hours per week is all that we need (but more if possible).

Prices are rising everywhere and we are trying our best to stay competitive.  Please try and spend a little extra with us and save on your fuel.  We may be a little more expensive on some items but we are right on your doorstep.

Thank you all that attended our Quiz and Curry evening!  We had a marvellous time and raised £600 towards our overheads.  The Curry received such great praise that we are planning another night soon.

Tickets are now available for our Valentine’s Hamper.  £1 each. Draw to take place on the 14th February.

Community News

Mobile Library – On the square at 10:20 until 10:50am, every 4 weeks on Thursday, next due 9th Feb.

Post Office – Service available in the Parish Hall, Room 2000.  Monday 1:15 – 4:15pm, Wednesday 09:15 – 12:15pm and Friday 09:15-11am. Please use as your local cash point.

West Down Community’s “Warm Space” Facility – having received a ‘Warm Space’ grant, from NDDC, the afternoon tea and cakes sessions in the Iron Room, initiated by Jo, has been expanded.  Whether you fancy soup, cakes, biscuits, tea, coffee, or squash, just pop in any time between 12.30 – 4.30pm on Thursdays.  There is no charge and this community facility is an ideal opportunity to meet up with one another.  Why not drop in before, or after, collecting your children from school?  Anyone and everyone most welcome!

St Calixtus Church – Notice is hereby given by WD Parochial Church Council that the Churchyard Grass Cutting Service Agreement is due to be reviewed and renewed.  The grass requires a total of 12 cuts, twice each month from April to September.  For further information, or to express an interest, please contact the PCC Secretary, Mrs Dianne McGahran, 2 Lower Broad Park, West Down, EX34 8FQ. Tel: 07719334246. Email: dimcg@btinternet.com.
The closing date for tenders to be submitted in writing will be Tuesday 28th February 2023.

West Down Parish Hall – Update.  We have received many compliments about the new toilets and other improvements that have been made recently.  This was enabled by generous grants from ten organisations which, together with our own fundraising prior to Covid restrictions, completely paid for all the alterations.

Hall hire charges are only used towards the day to day running costs of the hall.  Unfortunately, these had to be increased recently due to the very large increase in gas and electricity prices.  It is a very large area to heat and light.  This is being reviewed at our regular meetings.  Now that we can put on fund raising events again, we are planning to modernise the lighting in the hall and extend the store room.

The Parish Hall is managed by a committee of volunteers from the village and surrounding area and we have a responsibility to ensure that the hall is managed as a going concern.  If you would like to join our committee, please contact any member of the management team.

West Down Village Community Park – Saturday 13th May 2023 we will be celebrating 10 years of your ever evolving recreational open space.  We invite local groups and organisations to be involved with the opportunity to raise awareness and funds for your organisation.  We may well look to others to be involved to help make the day fantastic, we would also value any ideas that you may have.  We might be able to link to the Coronation the week before somehow?  There will be Music, Food, Entertainment and of course a Bar!  Contact John (Chair) 07773 333923.

West Down Village Community Park – AGM 27th February. Will have a 6-30 for 6.45 start and once again, everyone is welcome!

Village Forum – There will be a Village Forum at 8.00 o’clock on 27th February, immediately after the Annual General Meeting of West Down Community Park in the Parish Hall.  This Forum will enable local organisations to discuss their forthcoming plans; share resources and make suggestions for the Village Fair to be held on 13th May.  Everyone is welcome to attend.  This will be an excellent opportunity to meet representatives of the local organisations and to find out what is going on in the community.

Volunteers Needed

Dear Villager,

I am writing on behalf of West Down Community Shop Ltd. We are aware that many new people have moved in to the village over the last year and we hope that this will be of interest to them as well as being an update for more established residents.

The community shop that we are lucky enough to have in our village today was taken on by a small group of villagers in 2012 as a means of serving the people of West Down, who would otherwise be reliant on public transport or their cars for day-to-day groceries – not very convenient or environmentally friendly if all you need is a pint of milk or loaf of bread.

The business side of the shop is run by a small committee of local people who take on the roles of treasurer and vice-treasurer, secretary and vice-secretary, chair and vice-chair, with other tasks including publicity, minute taking and DIY expert being equally important. The shop cannot run without these people but at least four of these roles will become vacant in the near future.

Do you have any skills that could help us? Have you any experience in running a business large or small, book-keeping, or could you perhaps develop a web page for us? We really need to hear from you and nominations for places on the committee are now available ahead of our AMM in June. The closing date for nominations at the AMM is 10 May. Please consider anything that you might be able to contribute, either for a regular slot in the shop or on our (honestly very friendly!) committee by contacting either Sara Hodsman at sarahodsmam@outlook.com or Wendy Neligan at wwpemberton@gmail.com, or just pop in to the shop for a chat.  We’d love to hear from you and frankly, we can’t carry on without you.

The shop is run entirely for the good of the village and does not aim to make a profit above what is needed to cover our costs. To keep our overheads to a minimum, only our manager and weekend assistant earn a salary, with all other staff being volunteers. As a volunteer myself, I have found this to be a very rewarding experience, allowing me to get to know far more people in the village, learn new skills, and I really feel that I am contributing to my local community. Over the last year, this has been particularly important as we have been able to support vulnerable and shielding villagers with grocery deliveries and to allow many people to be able to ‘stay local’ – and we never ran out of loo rolls! We are also a hub of local knowledge, look after the village defibrillator and will always, always be happy to chat.

On a less altruistic note, having a village shop has a very positive impact on our house prices. Watch a couple of episodes of Escape to the Country and it becomes obvious that a pub and local shop are the absolute musts for the perfect village to move to. Add to that our excellent school and pretty church and we would seem to have it all. However – times are tough for the shop at present. Many of our volunteers have not been able to help us due to the pandemic and some will not be coming back, it has recently been very difficult for us to maintain our usual hours. We desperately need a few new people to step up and don the WDCS apron. Full training is given and most people commit to just a two-hour weekly shift, which is a small amount of time but would make such a big difference.

Finally – there is no point in having a shop unless we use it. Consider perhaps ordering your regular milk, bread, newspaper, yogurt or eggs from us, put in a weekly grocery order or buy your wine and beer from us, or maybe just make sure that you pop in for the odd ice-cream or tin of beans, it all helps. We try to buy locally grown and produced items as far as possible, so we may be a couple of pence more expensive than Tesco but we try and be competitive and many items are identical in price and after all, you don’t have to get your car out. Our stock is constantly changing and if we don’t stock something that you would like to buy from us let us know, we’ll do our best to get it for you.

Please, please, don’t let this precious service to our village and visitors disappear. Once it’s gone it’s gone and we’ll all be the poorer for it. Give us a little bit of time, custom or expertise and we will thrive and so will our community.

With our very kindest regards
Wendy Neligan
Vice Chair
On behalf of WDCS Ltd.

Good news for those environmentally minded shoppers  – the shop is now selling Full and Semi-Skimmed milk in returnable 1 pint glass bottles as well Orange Juice in 1 pint returnable glass bottles….please return empties to the shop for re-cycling.

West Down Village Stores is a superbly stocked general stores, off-license and foodie store. We sell everything from newspapers, household cleaning products and store cupboard essentials to fresh fruit and vegetables, local eggs and meats, wine and spirits. The premium brands we stock include spelt muesli, Miles coffee, Waterhouse Fayre jams and preservatives, Bake-house Biscuits, local Cheese, a range of Biona products .

  • We sell free range organic local meat and Farmer Bob eggs.
  • A small Gluten free range and soya milk. Also non homogenised Manor farm organic milk in full and semi.
  • We also sell stamps, cards and a few gifts to keep the children happy.

Holidaying in West Down?

The West Down Community Shop offers a ‘holiday box’ service.  Simply complete the order form and post or email your order to us.  We can then get your groceries ready for your collection on the day that is convenient for you.

We sell…

  • Fresh bread every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning, including baguettes, spelt, soda bread, sourdough and multi-grain/Gi loaves.  Doughnuts, Belgian buns, Chelsea buns and scones.
  • Local cheese, continental cheeses, salamis, ham, pates, coleslaw
  • Local eggs and the best bacon
  • Huge range of dry goods, including Italian pasta, sauces, biscuits for cheese and sweet snacks
  • Newspapers and magazines

West Down Community Shop is run by West Down Community Shop Limited

Pictures from the Past