Friday, February 17, 2012

The Cawdor Village Store

The store ceased trading on the 5th of February. The shop had opened in the Barn in the centre of Cawdor in the summer of 2011. The shop’s demise was discussed at the Cawdor Community Council meeting last Monday night in the Village’s community centre. Present at the meeting was the former proprietor of the store Sandy Matheson.
He was asked by a member of the public present why the store closed, “Apart from probably Sainsbury’s opening was it a lack of people coming in?”

Sandy replied: “I just didn’t have the amount of people in that should have been in, it’s as simple as that.”

Angus McNicoll for Cawdor Estate then gave the meeting some idea of what might happen next with the empty premises: “Our desire would be that there will be a Cawdor village store in Cawdor at some point in the future and that’s very much the target.” Angus then talked about the need to have a critical mass of footfall, etc and then continued: “For the foreseeable future I see the shop, it’s a beautiful building in a very good location with its open green space right in front which it could actually incorporate within the premises or part effectively of the trading floor space. So we’ll be seeking somebody to take it on, not maybe as a village store but as some sort of enterprise. We’ve already heard people talking about a café or some other sort of specialised shop. Something that’s actually going to be a destination shop. With that model it might be possible to dedicate a corner of the shop to basics, milk, papers and bread.

Sandy Matheson wanted to speak out against rumours that had reached him: “It was all to do with Cawdor Estate doubling the rent and that was just a load of nonsense. That was never the case, this is one of the reasons I’m here to emphasise that.”

The chair responded: “Thank you for sharing that and I’m glad you’ve dispelled the rumours that were floating about”

One member of the public present had a strong opinion to express and pointed the blame in the direction of the villagers: “Was it not just simply the fault of Cawdor, simple as that, I’m not talking about “the Cawdor”, I’m talking Cawdor village.” He claimed it was the same with the old post office.”

There was then some conversation about Cawdor now being a commuter village.

Sandy said a little later: “I actually thought maybe there would be a lot more passing trade. I looked out that window so many times and seen the amount of people passing at 60 to 70 m.p.h. in the mornings and late at night.” He went on to give a warning, “I dread the day will come when somebody’s going to be really hurt […] There’s cars going through that village so fast, they’re not even stopping at the lights, the lights are at red, I’ve seen it umpteen times.”


Anonymous said...

It's a shame the shop has closed, it was a great asset to the village. Unfortunately for a shop to be financially viable in a small rural community it has to charge high prices. People don't want to pay high prices, so they pick up groceries in Nairn or Inverness when they're on their way home from work. You can't win.

Graisg said...

This observer used to work up at Cawdor for several years and enjoyed many lunchtime trips over to the old Post Office and shop. An idyllic scene but a struggle for anyone to maintain a living. It's sad that it went and the new shop that followed it but maybe there's no going back now?