By Kathryn Hulme
SADDLEWORTH’S MOST remote village will have its own shop again soon as the disused public toilets in the centre of the village are being converted into a new general store.
Businessman and surveyor Fred Linskey, who bought the premises and planned the conversion, says the store will be up and running as soon Electricity North West organises a supply – possibly in time for Christmas.
Mr Linskey is also starting a recruitment drive to staff the shop and will be giving preference to Denshaw folk who apply.
Everything from bread and milk to newspapers, stamps and sweets will be on offer inside the small stone building on Rochdale Road near the crossroads in the centre of the village.
Mr Linskey, from Austerlands, has promised to respond to local needs when planning stock and, wherever possible, goods are to be provided by Saddleworth suppliers.
Called ‘The Village Shop’, the store will open from 7am to 8pm on Monday to Friday and then from 8am to 1pm at weekends.
When the idea of the shop was first mooted in spring, around 50 villagers attended a meeting to hear about the proposals.
The majority were enthusiastic about the prospect of once more having the convenience of a local store.
But one or two dissenters were concerned about potential parking problems and others wondered whether a new shop would thrive when the village’s last remaining shop closed five years ago due to of lack of demand.
But Mr Linskey insists: “My overheads will be low and I’ll be in this for the long term. I’m very confident I can make a go of it.
“I’ll be stocking what I find there is a demand for over a period – although there’ll definitely be no cigarettes or alcohol.
“And I’ll be flexible… if there is a call for meat for instance, I’ll take orders, buy it from a local farm shop and organise deliveries to customers’ homes.
“It’s all about what local people want and need. I’m determined this little village shop will be a real part of the community and will prove a major benefit to Denshaw.”