Blythburgh: Village shop which pioneered Prince of Wales initiative to reopen next month

A VILLAGE shop which received the seal of approval from Prince Charles is due to reopen its doors to customers next month.

The shop at Blythburgh, near Southwold, will be reopening on February 11 under the helm of local couple Alan de Thabrew and Katie Timson.

Known as Blythburgh Newsagent and Stores, the shop – on the site of the White Hart pub – closed in September when the previous tenant left.

It was the first business to benefit from the Prince of Wales’ Pub is the Hub initiative in 2001 and the Prince with the Duchess of Cornwall visited it in 2008 to celebrate its progress.

The shop’s new owners will be reopening it as a convenience store which will sell newspapers, sandwiches, cakes and pasties, local craft and foods. It will also offer dry cleaning and laundry, home deliveries and will resume a prescription service for patients at the York Road surgery on Fridays. It will not have post office services.

Mr de Thabrew, who has lived in the village for six years and is a parish councillor, said: “It is hoped that the shop will be well supported by the village, passing traffic on the A12, as well as tourists and walkers during the summer.”

The news of the shop reopening was welcomed by David Tytler, chairman of Blythburgh Parish Council.

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He said: “If their enthusiasm is anything to go by the shop will be a success. But, and it is a big but, they cannot do it on their own. They need the village, the people living here, to use it. We would not want to see it shut again.”