Welsh shop opens in England as owners upgrade from the market unit

A family-run Welsh shop has bucked the retail trend and expanded its service to a permanent high street shop in Oswestry town centre.

Lowri Roberts at Siop Cwlwm
Lowri Roberts at Siop Cwlwm

Independent book and gift shop Siop Cwlwm was based in Oswestry Market from 2010 when it was set up by mother and daughter team Linda and Lowri Roberts.

Now the business has moved to its own premises in Bailey Street.

The shop sells books, gifts and cards either in Welsh or connected with Welsh heritage and language.

Lowri explained that cwlwm means knot in Welsh.

“We feel that the Welsh language is what joins Oswestry to Wales,” she said.

The business originally started with a market stall and later moved to a double unit in Oswestry market hall but a permanent shop was always the ultimate aim.

“We like to think that we play an important role in supporting the Welsh language in Oswestry with our range of Welsh books, gifts and cards,” said Lowri.

"Our aim is to be a hub for Welsh speakers in the town as well as Welsh learners and anyone interested in Welsh heritage.”

The move to the permanent shop comes after the Siop Cwlwm team worked with business advisers from Hadleigh Works, Be a Better Fish and Martin & Jones Marketing through the Marches Growth Hub Shropshire one-to-one specialist support programme.

Lowri is celebrating the opening of the new shop by taking part in the Oswestry Christmas Live event on December 2, from 6pm to 10pm, when the town celebrates the start of the Christmas season with a spectacular night-time event and late night shopping.

The business is also staging a book reading on December 3 by north Wales author Julia Ozanne, who received accolades for her first novel, The Boat Shed. Julia lived and worked in the Oswestry area before moving to North Wales.

She has now written a sequel to The Boat Shed, The Rule of Twelfths, which is also based around the north Wales coastal area. Julia will be available to sign copies of both books between 12pm and 4pm.

Further information about Siop Cwlwm is available at siopcwlwm.co.uk or on Facebook @Siop Cwlwm

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