On Saturday 23 July scores of villagers assembled in the sunshine to celebrate the Grand Opening of Hawkesbury Stores. Paralympian footballer James Blackwell declared the Stores open, cut the ribbon, and posed with the crowd for a local press photographer in front of our brand new shopfront.

Friends and neighbours, young and old, from all around Hawkesbury parish then enjoyed delicious free tasters from many of our lovely suppliers. Marina from Tigerlily Facepainting decorated arms and faces, and everyone tucked into a celebration cake donated by Dinah Meredith.

Our special guest, James Blackwell, grew up in the village and is due to fly to Rio in a matter of weeks as part of TeamGB’s Paralympic 7-a-side football team. We wish him well at the Games, and will be cheering him on from Hawkesbury!

The Grand Opening of Hawkesbury Stores marked the herculean effort of our community to secure a vital village asset that was threatened with closure. It came one month since we took ownership in late June. The first weeks of trading have seen new product ranges and suppliers brought in, modest improvements to the interior and a whole new look on the outside.