Crewkerne Mayor, Councillor Robin Pailthorpe, officially opened the Rotary Christmas charity shop on Friday morning, in premises formerly occupied by Gresham’s Books in Market Street. Councillor Pailthorpe said: “Congratulations to the Rotary and thanks for opening your shop again this year. The shop is visually a key site in the town and hopefully this will raise the profile, of what was an empty unit until today. It is lovely to see Gresham’s Books occupied again.”
The town centre premises has been empty since March 2013, when the owners James and Anne Hine, who sold rare and second hand books retired. Although several businesses have shown an interest in taking on the lease of the ground floor retail space and upstairs residential accommodation, no-one has yet taken it further to the completion stage.
The Rotary Shop will occupy the premises for 3 months. President of the Rotary Club of Crewkerne, David Fradgley said: “We are very pleased to get the premises. It is thanks to our members that we have this wonderful shop this year. I would like to especially thank Peter Hardwill and Peter Lawrence.” The MP for the Yeovil constituency Marcus Fysh visited the shop on Friday afternoon, to extend his congratulations. The shop is being staffed by Rotary Club volunteers and is open Mondays to Saturdays from 10am until 4pm. On Saturdays it is the turn of the Rotary Club of Crewkerne District Trust, whose spokesperson said: “We are manning the shop on Saturdays, so come in and say hello and please buy something.” Sales from the Rotary’s Christmas charity shop raises thousands of pounds each year, which is distributed back into the community.