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Planning Approval

On Thursday April 18th 2002 Chiltern District Council Planning Committee approved plans submitted by Hyde Heath Village Hall Management Committee to extend the village hall to provide permanent accommodation for the village shop plus other improvements including better storage facilities to the rear of the hall.  The Committee congratulated all involved in ensuring this vital village service continues following the closure of the previous post office and store in  March 2001.

It is intended that work will commence during the summer with a view to completion in the autumn.  Further information will be published here as it becomes available.


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Hyde Heath Amersham

Bucks HP6 5RW

13 th February 2002

To:      All Loan Note Holders

            Customers of the Shop

            Villagers of Hyde Heath

Dear Supporter

I am pleased to inform you that we are now ready to commence Phase 2 of our Shop operation.

As you will be aware we have been trading in temporary premises located in the Village Hall Car Park since last April. Subject to planning consent we expect to be able to move into a soon to be created extension of the Village Hall. The new accommodation will be approximately twice the size of our present shop and will enable us to provide a far better service with a wider range of goods. We consider that the proposed transfer will be of benefit to all concerned, but we need your support, please.

You may recall that the Phase 2 of the operation is to be in the form of a more formal cooperative, i.e. a company registered under the Industrial & Provident Societies Act 1965. Consequently we need to have the approval of those likely to be involved and in particular to have the agreement of the Loan Note holders to transfer their loans to the new entity. We shall of course be approaching all Loan Note Holders individually.

To facilitate this process we would invite you to attend a meeting in the Village Hall at 3.00 pm on Sunday 3rd March 2002 for the purpose of considering:

                    1. Transfer of shop business to new premises situate within the Village Hall

                        (Drawings and sketches will be available at the meeting)

                    2. Agreement to form a new company.

We hope you will agree that this is a very important step for the 'Shop' and hope that you will be able to attend the meeting to hear more of the proposals.

Yours sincerely

Ray Challinor


Registered office: Chess Chambers, 2 Broadway Court, Chesham, Bucks HP5 1 EG VAT no: 727639894 company no: 415 65760 Directors: R.E.Challinor; L.A. Neale; R. Coulton & CJ Sargeant



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Letter from Ruth Coulton                                                    1st Feb 2002

Just a brief note to update you upon our Village Store and to advise of new products we are introducing.

The shop has now been trading successfully for 10 months and I would like to thank all of those who have helped in any way. Obviously, our greatest appreciation is to our customers - if only the 50% or so of the village who do not use the shop made the effort to buy something each week, it would make a considerable difference. We cannot compete with Tesco or Sainsbury but by shopping at your Village Store for say 6 locally produced farm eggs each week or to buy a card, supports our community owned business. Think of the savings you make on petrol and time !


From the middle of next week (ie Feb ’02) we will be stocking a range of locally butchered meats - especially selected frozen and packed for our Village Store. Lines we intend carrying will include individually portioned Pork, Lamb and Beef Steaks, Minced Beef and Chicken Fillets. If you have suggestions for other cuts or products, please let me know.

Additionally, we can source specialities such as Guinea Fowl, Ducks and Pheasants to order. Again if you want something special, I will try to obtain it for you.

Assuring you of the best of service from all at our Village Store

Ruth Coulton

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Bucks Examiner - 11th Jan 2002 :


Re Letter in Bucks Examiner dated 11th January by unnamed ‘former resident’ - above - response by Ray Challinor - Chairman

I do not propose to seek to publish a letter of reply in the Bucks Examiner as this may only encourage further sterile correspondence.

Customers and supporters of the Village Shop may wish to be aware of the following by way of comment on the latest epistle.

bulletIt is not necessary for the correspondent to point out the fact that the present premises are only temporary – my letter to Bucks Examiner 28th October stated this in terms.
bulletWe are well aware that 1 out of 3 small businesses fail in the first three years. What is also true is that 2 out of 3 do not! It is not clear from the letter whether he/she considers we shall be in the first or second category.
bulletAs to the 26 people on our payroll, the correspondent seems to assume that they are employed on a full time basis – would that we could accommodate 26 people in the cabin let alone 26 staff. In fact the full time equivalent staff in a typical working week is only1.4 staff!
bulletAs regards the post office licence this is a non-starter for the time being as we have no space to accommodate such a facility. Suggestions from anyone other than Harry Potter would be welcome!
bulletThere are in fact suitable alternative premises within the village, but unfortunately they continue to as unavailable now as they were as from 2nd April  2001.
bulletThe still shy correspondent seems to suggest that further development within the village is likely to provide the answer to the problem of a lack of alternative suitable sites. However, there is a lack of consistency in the argument as the letter implies that the shop is in any event likely to fail.  The correspondent does not appear to have had regard to history. Over the years more developments in Hyde Heath have meant less shops, not more!
bulletFor the record, the present operations of the Shop are very successful socially and economically. We are able to repay all loans borrowed but until we have fully assessed our cash position with regard to Phase 2 of the Operation, it would be premature to repay the loans now.
bulletAs regards the future, we are very hopeful that we shall shortly be able to announce that we have agreed terms with the Village Hall Committee to operate from premises in the Hall, subject to the Hall being enlarged to accommodate the shop and also to improve other facilities for the village.

If anybody requires any further information as to the present and proposed activities of the shop, please contact the undersigned.

Ray Challinor


Registered office: Chess Chambers, 2 Broadway Court, Chesham, Bucks HP5 1EG VAT no: 727639894

company no:415 65760 Directors: R.E.Challinor; L.A. Neale; R. Coulton & CJ Sargeant

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Village Store - Help required with Newspapers

a)     Sorting and Marking up  - we need additional people for our  rota to spend approx 1 hour preparing, sorting and marking papers ready for delivery - starting 6.15am on weekdays and Saturdays and 7.00am on Sundays.

b)     Newspaper Deliveries  - whilst we have no immediate vacancies these will arise and we would like to have a list of anyone aged 13+ who would like to earn £25 per week and who we could call on as and when opportunities arise.  Weekday rounds take approx 30 minutes per day and weekends a little longer.

If you can help or would like any further details please contact Ruth Coulton on 01494 775967 or e-mail:

Thank you

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The Village Store is open as follows:

Weekdays 7.30am - 1.00pm & 2.00pm - 6.00pm
Saturdays 7.30am - 1.00pm
Sundays 9.00am - 12.00 noon

We now stock fresh sandwiches daily from a local supplier as well as a full range of basic items including bread milk & eggs, confectionary, ice creams, soft drinks plus cigarettes newspapers and magazines 

Now available - local Honey Fudge

Additional Christmas items available by special order - see list and order forms in store.

Dear Fellow Villager

As you will know our New Hyde Heath Village Store has now been open for about two months following the closure of the Post Office.

Whilst we are not yet in a position to present to you with longer term proposals, you may wish to be aware of the progress made to date.

Preparation of new shop

The weekend of 31st March – 2nd April saw about 30 villagers working together to install fixtures, fittings and stock in readiness for opening at 7.30am on 2nd April

Trading to date

With the generous support of villagers we have received loans totalling almost £13,000, enabling us to gradually broaden the range of stock but the small size of the building is now a constraint on any further substantial increase in the range of goods sold. The question of repayment of the loans will be dealt with once we embark upon Phase 2 of the operation i.e. the enlarged shop.

Trading has now reached, and has sometimes exceeded, the levels predicted for break-even operation – with your support we are confident this trend will continue. Despite a steep learning curve and the occasional computer ‘glitch’ , staffing arrangements have generally worked well – a great tribute manageress Ruth Coulton and all concerned.

The future

Discussions are taking place with the Village Hall Committee and others with a view to establishing a larger and more permanent building for the shop, but as there are a number of complicated issues to resolve, the outcome may not be known for some time. However as soon as we can we shall present our proposals to the village for consideration at a public meeting.

Finally, I would like to say a big thank you to all our hard working staff and also to the very many villagers who have supported us in so many ways. To those who have yet to have the pleasure, I am sure that your visit will bring very satisfying mutual benefits!

Yours sincerely

Ray Challinor


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Village people worked all weekend to prepare our new "Hyde Heath Village Store" for opening on Monday April 2nd at 7.30 am


HYDE HEATH VILLAGE STORE  -  a big  thank you

To everyone who has supported us, may I say a big thank you. Obviously, much of what we are doing is new to many of us and we do appreciate your understanding in respect of any problems experienced, we are still stocking up the shop but space is at a premium.

We do still need some extra staffing and we would ask you to consider helping us with the following salaried positions:

Weekday Counter Staff.. Primarily mornings, working 1 or 2 days a week on a rota. This role could suit someone with children and working term times only - two parents alternating looking after one another's children perhaps?

Sunday Morning Counter Staff.. The shift is 9.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. (the last 30 minutes being to cash up and complete paperwork), again we would like to be working upon a rota. We need 1 or 2 people (older teenagers through to those who are retired) to add to the team. We would like to have one person working say one Sunday a month rather than the same people doing alternative weekends. Villagers wanted the shop open on Sundays; we need to staff it! 

Saturday and Sunday Morning Paper sorting.
For just over 1 hour each day, we need an active person(s) to help count, sort and mark-up the papers -Saturdays will start at say 6.15 a.m. and Sundays at 7.00 a.m. Ideally, we would like a rota so that one-person works say one weekend in four. At present, David is doing every weekend and this cannot continue.

If you are interested in any of the above, please contact me as soon as possible at the shop, (telephone 01494 783340) or on my home number 01494 775967. Please do help us to provide a service to you.

Ruth Coulton


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from - Ray Challinor - Chairman S.O.S Committee
01494-776200 Fax 01494-774415
23rd March 2001

ear Villager,
I am now pleased to inform you that we plan to commence trading from a ‘Rovacabin’ on the car park of the Village Hall as from Monday 2nd April at 7.30 am.

The present position is as follows:

A new company has been formed with the generous support of Lennon & Co. solicitors of Chesham, and has been registered for VAT.

The ‘Rovacabin’ has been promised for delivery in Hyde Heath on Thursday 29th March. Fitting out of the shop will take place on Saturday afternoon (31st March) and Sunday (1st April) – volunteers are required please to assist in transferring fixtures and fittings from the present shop – please contact David Coulton on 775967 a.s.a.p.

The response to our request for help in the shop has been tremendous – thanks to all concerned. We are therefore confident that we can open the shop and deliver newspapers. Opening hours will be daily 7.30 am – 1 pm and 2 – 6 pm,

Saturdays 7.30am – 1 pm and Sundays 8 am – 12 pm.

4 We aim to sell a reasonable range of basics including bread, milk eggs as well as frozen foods, snacks, cakes, pies etc, sweets, cigarettes, soft drinks (no alcohol) stationery (including greeting cards) and postage stamps.

The future

The priority has been to open the new temporary shop, but we have also been investigating the longer-term prospects for a shop incorporating a Post Office. The most important criterion for the success of a retail business is its position. In view of the continued unavailability of the existing Village Store building there is no alternative existing building and no entirely satisfactory available vacant site within the village. Most reluctantly we have concluded that we must consider a site which for many will not be ideal, as it will be on Common Land.

The site we have in mind is behind and adjacent to the bus stop, but set back from the road. Planning consent will be necessary and we already aware that the prospects of achieving such consent are not high. Nevertheless, unless there is somebody in the village who can suggest a satisfactory alternative, we believe that we should proceed with our proposals.

Common land is a very emotive subject but we consider that our proposal will not violate the basic principle of keeping such land for the benefit of the common good, even if few in the village will want to exercise their right to graze their sheep (foot and mouth permitting!). What we propose is that the future shop on the Common will be owned by a Co-operative of all those members of the village wishing to join and it will also be run and managed by members of the village for the benefit of village as a whole.


This letter is by way of follow up to earlier letters and in particular to the responses received from very many villages offering monies ranging from £50 - £500. We now urgently need those villagers who previously indicated their support to provide us with a cheque for 50% of the amount indicated, please. However, it is not too late for those who were unable for one reason or another to make an offer The cheques should be made payable to Lennon & Co. who have kindly agreed to receive the funds and only to release them once they are fully satisfied with our bona fides.

The monies received will be treated as interest free unsecured loans to the new company to be used as follows:

-purchase of fixtures and fittings for the shop

-costs of fitting out and transfer of ‘Rovacabin’ to the site on the Village Hall car park

-working capital including stock for the shop, and modest debtor finance for newspaper bills

-costs of mounting a planning application for the longer-term future shop.

In seeking funds from you, you should be aware that

-all costs to date have been met by the working party from their own funds but reimbursement is not required

-the shop will mainly be staffed by those engaged in the present shop, supported a pool of volunteers from the village to cover holidays and sickness etc. All staff will be paid at approximately the same rate as at present

-the ‘managers’ of the shop will primarily be Nell Neale Ruth Coulton, and myself with unpaid assistance from Rodney Howlett and David Coulton. Nell and I will not be remunerated but Ruth will receive payment for her work in the shop and for agreeing to have a day to responsibility for the shop operations

-because we shall be using villagers’ money we shall use it prudently and therefore no credit for goods will be allowed other than for newspapers .We expect villagers to settle their accounts weekly but the maximum credit allowed would be four weeks with bills being paid within 7 days. A failure to settle bills promptly will mean that deliveries will cease

we cannot guarantee that all loan monies will be repaid in full but we are reasonably

confident of being able to repay the loans in the fullness of time. However, we shall be in a better position to assess this once we have started trading and have reviewed the position after about 3 months

- the shareholders (3 x £1) will hold their shares in trust for the benefit of the Loan Note holders so that if they ever achieve value, the Loan Note holders will benefit.

As previously promised, cash flow forecasts and budgets have now been finalised. Because the forecasts contain commercially sensitive information such as profit margins, costs and profits I hope it is appreciated that we are unable to distribute such information widely. However I am very happy to call a meeting in the Village Hall for those interested when the figures can be revealed explanations provided.

I apologise for the length of this letter but as I am sure you will appreciate it is not always possible to condense such a wide range of important information onto one sheet of paper.

Finally, and if you are still reading this letter, I would ask you, please, to forward your cheques to the above address within the course of the next few days. I shall them forward them to Lennon & Co and each remittance will be acknowledged with a receipt.

Yours sincerely

Ray Challinor
Director Hyde Heath Village Store Ltd

Registered Office: Chess Chambers, 2 Broadway Court, Chesham, Bucks HP5 1EG
VAT no: 727639894  Hyde Heath Village Store Ltd, Company no: 4165760
Directors R E Challinor; L A Neale; R Coulton

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