Anne Dowson Presentation
More than 50 people. young and old, gathered on Saturday 28th November in the village hall to mark Anne Dowson's retirement on the closure of the shop in September, to thank her for keeping it open so long through difficult times and to wish her well for the future.
Over coffee and biscuits organised by the Parish Council she was presented with a clock hand crafted and carved with Husthwaite squirrels by Trevor Hutchinson, a handsome sum of money from a very well supported public subscription, a beautiful bouquet of flowers a card photograph of the centre of the village bound with many pages of individually hand written tributes and good wishes from friends and supporters.
Speeches by Peter Fox on behalf of the Parish Council and Stephen Barker for the Village Hall Committee reflected the history of the shop which had traded continually in the hands of the same family for about 100 years, no mean achievement.
Anne and her husband David who died earlier this year had taken over from David's parents `Ivan and Mary of whom long term residents had vivid memories, but it was Mary's aunt who had started the business in the adjacent white washed cottage built in 1690 as may be seen above the front door.
Anne had come to the village when she married David and rapidly made her mark demonstrating what a perfect successor she would be to Mary. Particularly kind and helpful to children and the elderly, meticulous with accounts and stock and of invariably happy disposition she ran an efficient business which for many years provided a service to the village which will be sorely missed.
Her display of wares which fulfilled most domestic needs was never without her personal touch and at this time of year her very own hand-made Christmas cards adorned the counter. But it was much more than a place to buy sweets or groceries; it was a centre for the exchange of village news and for people to meet who would not otherwise do so. Yet village shops throughout the country have struggled to keep trading with many closing.
Ours is no exception and the village was glad to express our grateful appreciation to Anne for carrying on with cheerful determination long after others might have given up.