The Lee Parish has always had a shop… or two… or three….
That was until the end of 2004, when The Old Shop and village Post Office – the last remaining shop in Lee Common – finally closed.
“So why should people worry about not having a village shop?” I hear you say. Well, in addition to the obvious benefits of a shop that you don’t necessarily have to drive to there could, it was argued, be many other advantages to a village shop. It can be a focal point for the community; you can meet people there, perhaps have a cup of coffee and make sure you know what’s going on locally, so you won’t miss out on the gossip. Estate agents always use the presence of a shop as a selling point. A local shop will often sell local produce; imagine being able to buy all the year round those wonderful cakes, bread, jam etc. that otherwise are only available once a year at the Flower Show. And of course, there’s always something different about the service you receive at your local shop compared to a large supermarket.
So, in 2004, when the closure of the previous shop was announced, a small working group was formed, chaired by the Chairman of the Parish Council, to take forward the idea of a community-run shop, to be positioned on a site next to the Parish Hall.
The pictures of Porretts Stores and M. Holloway appear by permission of the Buckinghamshire County Museum.