Opening Hours

Mon: 8am – 7.30pm
Tue: 8am – 7.30pm
Wed: 8am – 7.30pm
Thu: 8am – 7.30pm
Fri: 8am – 7.30pm
Sat: 8am – 6.00pm
Sun: 9am – 1.00pm

How To Find Us

Post Office

Mon: 9am -1.00pm
Fri: 9am – 11.30am

Ilsington Village Shop
Old Town Hill
TQ13 9RG

Tel: 01364 661788


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Transcript Of Kirsten’s Interview on Radio Devon 25 Feb 2015

Kirsten was interviewed by BBC Radio Devon whilst in London for the Award ceremony, but the show is only available to listen to on line for a short time. With that in mind, please find below a transcript of her interview with Vic Morgan:

Interview transcript BBC Radio Devon 25 Feb 2015 with Vic Morgan (Standing in for David FitzGerald)

Vic Morgan: A tiny village shop at Ilsington near Bovey Tracey was shortlisted today for a very special Parliamentary Award.  Managers Emma Schramm and Kirsten Day went to Westminster today to see if they and their 50 strong team of volunteers would come home with the award for Best Small Shop in the Country. They found out a short while ago that they didn’t win but this hasn’t dampened their spirit or their pride one bit. I spoke to Kirsten a little earlier to find out how they’d found the day. Well Kirsten, thank you very much for joining us:

Kirsten Day: No problem.

VM: A great day even though the result wasn’t necessarily what you wanted.

KD:  No, no, but we’re delighted that it’s been recognised. I think that was as much for us as anything – the recognition for the community shop as a shop of the future, I think. We were very thrilled to be there and it was great. We’ve had a fantastic time up here. It’s been really interesting.

VM: But to be nominated for best small shop in Devon would be good enough, but in the Country – I mean that’s an extraordinary thing!

KD: Yes, very much so. It was a very interesting competition and Emma, our manager, put together a very strong pitch for it and tried to sort of highlight the fact that we are actually run as a successful business, not just providing a central shop for a community that lost its shop about 4 years before but also we do lots of (other things). We hold the keys to the village hall and all sorts of weird and wonderful things as well as sort of being the hub for people to get together and talk, which is basically what they do quite often! Come in and shop and talk, I think.

VM: There is a movement to have more of these, aren’t there?  Community shops.

KD: Very much so. Yes I think, I could be wrong, but I think they are one of the strongest growth sectors is Community Shops. And actually the South West of the country has the highest proportion of community shops, I believe, in the country. And I think some of the older, most long standing community shops are in the South West or in the West Country anyway. It was very interesting when we were looking at one of the leaflets at the presentation: there were figures for small shops and (they were) saying about the percentage of small shop keepers that worked over 70 hour weeks and something like 20% of them never took holidays, so for somebody to run one as a private enterprise, it’s really difficult. Whereas, of course, as a community, a huge number of our volunteers actually love what they do and it’s been a real life line for a lot of them so it’s a way of making a functioning shop without having to drain somebody’s energy to the nth degree. So I do think there is a real move afoot. I mean, if they work then they’re great and we are very lucky. We have a very strong committee and a great manager and I think sometimes it can be very difficult. But we are fortunate, and as a model for a shop for the future it’s great and if you get strong support from the community, it’s even better. Which we do. I mean we are really well used by the community as well and not just as a sort of “oh, it’s our community shop, we need to use it” but people actually use it because it’s an excellent facility. I think it is very much the way forward.

VM: I’m guessing that you have origins on the other side of the pond?!

KD: Yes I do!

VM: I mean I’m just intrigued to know whether there are similar projects on the other side of the Atlantic?

KD: I’d like to think that there were but I’ve been here for such a long time, I don’t know! I can’t believe that this isn’t becoming more widespread. Purely because of the economic difficulties in actually running a functioning shop and also the Americans do have a fairly strong community spirit as well. So I’d be surprised if there weren’t similar projects , but I have to say not that I particularly know of because I haven’t lived there in a long time so I can’t pass comment.

VM: Sadly I’m bound to ask who actually won?

KD: Actually we felt it was a worthy winner. It was a very nice, sort of high-end delicatessen and general shop in Helmsley up in North Yorkshire and we had a quick look at their website and it was a very strong candidate. We didn’t feel we were cheated, as much as we would have liked to have brought home the trophy! But we did get a very nice framed picture to hang up as one of the short-listed contestants. They were a worthy winner, I’m sure.

VM: And of course the name of Ilsington will be familiar to many who make their way up and down the Devon Expressway every day.

KD: Yes indeed.

VM: And this is a further reason to put it on the map, isn’t it?

KD: Absolutely right, yes! It’s got a very nice pub and a very nice shop, so it’s a good stopping place. Lots of good local goods and interesting products so, very much so. We could put it underneath the sign on the A38!

VM: Absolutely right!

KD: Shortlisted for the best local shop!

VM: I think you should.

KD: It would be worth doing.

VM: Congratulations to them. They didn’t win the actual award but they were nominated. Kirsten Day, from the Ilsington shop, near Bovey Tracey. You may well know it, it’s just off the A38 if you get a chance to go there and give them a visit. I’m, sure they’d be delighted to see you.

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