Monday, 16 December 2019

Gymnast, eight, officially opens Christmas pop-up shop

Gymnast, eight, officially opens Christmas pop-up shop

A POP-UP Christmas shop in Wargrave was officially opened by a young gymnast.

Lyla-Rose May, eight, and her family, from Hazlemere, were invited to the first night of the Old Post Office Pop-Up.

She cut the ribbon alongside businesswomen Mel Stack and Libby Spratley, who have launched the temporary shop at the former coffee shop in High Street.

The old lease expired in August and the building’s owner Lynda Walker was keen to see the unit in use to keep the village vibrant in the build-up to Christmas.

Mrs Stack, who had the idea for the shop, said: “When we knew the shop was empty, we wanted to create a gift environment in time for Christmas.

“We have brought together lots of unusual things that you can’t get anywhere else to create that festive feeling. We just wanted to bring some life to the high street.

“We want to get people in for the evenings after school and work. This is a big community space.

“A number of places have struggled, which is why it is so important to offer something unique as well as an experience. It is tragic when you go down this road and see shops closed. We have already had lots of nice feedback from customers and the candles seem to be moving very fast.”

Mrs Stack, who lives in Bray and runs a weight-loss company, has spent the last few months travelling to and from America and Canada to ensure the shop was ready on time.

The shop sells artwork, candles, handmade crafts, dog treats, accessories and Christmas cards and also offers refreshments.

It will also host a series of events before Christmas.

On December 3 at 2pm author Susanna Beard will give a reading of her latest psychological thriller The Truth Waits There. The opening night was in aid of the Trealaw Village Trust, which runs the Making It project in the Rhondda Valley in South Wales.

Trealaw is an area with high unemployment and the project allows people to develop new skills and prevent social isolation.

Mrs Stack has said she may continue after Christmas depending on how popular it is.

Lyla-Rose recently qualified for the world championships in Orlando in June. She will fly out with her parents, Mark and Amy, and brother Billy, who is just five months old.

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