Thanks for your amazing support during lockdown

I think we can all agree that the recent 'coronavirus lockdown' was quite an experience! For most of us it was a worrying time (and still is for some), especially those who were sheltering to protect themselves or loved ones.

As the towns and city centres emptied, most of Barton Stacey and the surrounding villages obeyed the rules and isolated ourselves from the outside world. We missed out on Easter and bank holiday trips - and we missed many of our loved ones even more. Some were able to enjoy the beautiful spring weather and a three month holiday, but it was a cruel time for many.

With nowhere to go but supermarkets (that had often been stripped bare of essentials), Lisa and I realised we had to step up and we got to work trying to fill the gaps in our neighbours' larders. We massively increased the range and quantities of fruit and vegetables, found additional suppliers for things like eggs and flour, and started up a local delivery service so customers needn't leave home.

At the height of the lockdown we were were having up to 20 cases and trays of fresh foods delivered daily and working 200 hours a week between us. I can confidently say it was busier at 8am in Barton Stacey than it was in Oxford Circus.

Adrenaline kept us going, along with the kind words of so many of you. It was certainly a time we shall never forget.

Today's fruit and veg delivery

Thank you!

It was sad to lose some well-loved staff members at the start of March, but of course we understood that health considerations come first. Instead, we say a huge thank you to others who really stepped up. We could never have done it without them. A special thanks to Jilly, who has worked so many hours for us, and to Kathy and Rupert who volunteered their services early on. Thanks as well to our sons who often helped despite working from home at their own jobs, and to Hayley, Jemma, Nick S, Adee and Jan, who all helped enormously.

My gratitude also goes to Rob N, who did the paper round most Sundays just to give me an extra hour or two in bed; and to Peter who returned to work on the Mobile Post Office every Friday at the height of the outbreak. And thanks, of course, to so many of our lovely friends and neighbours who freely offered their help getting shopping to self-isolating villagers. You were all truly amazing!

As things returned to normal in July, Lisa and I finally felt able to reward ourselves with a couple of nights away at a spa hotel (that back massage was very much needed) so we can now treat you to a picture of us in our complimentary bath robes. Enjoy!

Kevin also hopes to find time to have a haircut soon.

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