Very different fortnights ahead for Shropshire and Welsh villagers on either side of A483

The Village Pantry, run by sisters Lisa and Sarah, will have to close its doors for more than a fortnight on Friday – because it is about five metres inside the Welsh border.

If it were the other side of the A483 the sisters would not now be running down their stock or worrying about what help there will be available for their business and livelihood.

The village straddles the Shropshire and Welsh border in Llanymynech, meaning residents face very different Covid rules over the next two weeks.

Children on half term holidays will be able to meet up with their Shropshire friends in Shropshire but those in Powys will only be able to play with brothers and sisters – while their parents will have to cancel any events or holidays they have booked

Pubs such as The Bradford Arms will remain open – but a stone’s throw away, the Dolphin will have to shut.

One side of the A483 is in England and the other is in Wales

Lisa Edwards from the Village Pantry lives in Wales and Sarah Jones in Shrewsbury. Lisa says she understands why the ‘circuit breaker lockdown’, imposed by the Welsh Government to run from Friday until November 9 has to happen.

“The vulnerable have to be protected. We look after our Nan and we have both been extra careful since this began to make sure we don’t get it and pass it on.

“And at least this time we have been given five days to prepare and to run down out stock. Our customers have been brilliant supporting us and I am sure they will be back as soon as it is lifted."

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Customers Peter and Karen Skidmore are on holiday in the area from Birmingham and had booked a meal at the Dolphin on Friday night. Now they will be travelling home.

“It is a great shame for people in Powys, which has a low risk, especially in this area,” Peter said.

“I think the rules in England are right – put the extra measures in place in the area of high risk rather than across the country as is happening in Wales.”

Peter and Karen Skidmore who were on holiday from Birmingham are now returning home

Next door to the cafe, Romney Auto Repairs will be able to stay open as it is providing an essential service, although during the nationwide lockdown trade dropped off only to pick up again when restrictions started to ease.

Licensee at the Bradford Arms, Bob Hedley said he feels sorry for those who are visiting, including the holidaymakers with caravans in Wales who now won’t be able to stay.

“It is coming to the end of the holiday season, although many caravan parks have extended it until Christmas this year,” he said.

“We have a lot of walkers who stay bed and breakfast with us and that season is also coming to an end, so we can’t completely blame Covid for trade beginning to ease off.”

Bob Hedley of The Bradford Arms Hotel

Bob is also the president of the local Royal British Legion and says poppy collections in pubs and non-essential shops will be affected by the Wales decision.

And with Remembrance Sunday the day before lockdown ends, there will be a small service in Llanymynech Parish Church – which sits within England, but not at the War Memorial – in Wales.

“We will ensure we remain on the English side while colleagues in Wales pay their respects individually,” he said.

Rector of St Agatha’s and other local churches is the Rev Kathy Trimby.

Romneys Auto Repairs can stay open as it is an essential service

She said the church would be working hard to ensure that people did not feel isolated, on whichever side of the border they live.

“Isolation is going to be a very big problem as we head towards the winter and this will affect the mental health of so many people,” she said.

Meanwhile officials at Llanymynech Golf Club are holding talks over how the course deals with the situation, with some holes in Powys and others in Shropshire.

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