Collyweston Community Shop profits help fund tribute to Jean Sowerby

Villagers gather for the unveiling of the new bench installed in memory of Jean Sowerby. Seated on the bench are, from left, parish council chairman Shelagh Busby, Jean's widower John, Jean's daughter Zoe Palmer and granddaughter Zara Palmer, two, and Paul Johnson
Villagers gather for the unveiling of the new bench installed in memory of Jean Sowerby. Seated on the bench are, from left, parish council chairman Shelagh Busby, Jean's widower John, Jean's daughter Zoe Palmer and granddaughter Zara Palmer, two, and Paul Johnson

Profits from a community shop have paid for a new memorial bench which pays tribute to a village newsletter editor.

Collyweston Community Shop has undergone a refit in recent weeks, with bespoke wooden shelving replacing the old metal racks.

The new look, combined with an increase in products from around the area, has led to a boost in takings.

This has enabled the shop committee to buy a £490 memorial bench to replace a rundown seat outside The Collyweston Slater alongside the A43.

The bench has been installed as a tribute to Jean Sowerby, editor of the village newsletter for 15 years who died suddenly this year.

It was unveiled on Friday, October 11, the date of her birthday. Jean’s widower John was invited to cut the ribbon on the bench and parish council chairman Sheila Busby accepted it on behalf of the village.

Shop committee member Sandra Johnson said: “John’s daughter, son and grandchildren were there with him. It was quite moving.

“There was a good crowd and we were delighted with the turnout.”

The shelving was made by JMS Carpentry and Joinery, based in Ketton, and includes new bespoke units, bread baskets and casing for the old metal shelves.

Sandra said: “We have been able to increase the range of products. Since we have done that we are doing even better. That’s why we were able to make a donation back to the village.”

The committee is already planning another community project for next year.