Shropshire Star

Community stalwart closes Albrighton shop after 18 years

An Albrighton shop keeper is closing after 18 years on the village's High Street.

After starting in 2004, Julie Beddis is closing her store in Albrighton - Julie's High Street Stores

Opened in 2004, Julie's High Street stores has been much more than a shop to many Albrighton residents who got to know owner, Julie Beddis, as a friend over the years.

Julie said that in 18 years, the shop has become a bit of a social hub for people who just wanted a chat or someone who would listen to them while they shopped.

"A lot of people would come in for a chat, tell me how they're feeling and I think they just needed that reassurance that I was there and listening," she said.

"The shop was a real community hub for me. Its also the fact people would come in and they would know if they ask me for something I would say I could usually get it for them and they didn't need to worry.

"The shop has changed many times over the years, from predominantly a sweet shop to even selling crafting equipment."

Julie said closing was a matter of timing and she has come to terms with it, and is hopeful for the future.

"I just feel the time is right to close and I would love to actually start another venture, I don't know what yet but I can feel I want to do something," she said.

"I have enjoyed every minute of the shop and enjoyed that people have let me be part of their lives.

"I have watched babies grow up and been sad when people have passed away, and I've also actually seen how much the village has changed over the years.

"I also watched more and more people do online shopping and people sometimes forget that has an effect on the High Street.

"The High Street in Albrighton has changed a lot and I don't think people support the High Street as much as they could do here."

Julie, who moved to Albrighton originally in 1998, said she thanks her customers for all their support – without them, she wouldn't have the shop, she said.

"When I first opened the shop, a lot of my elderly customers had fought in the world wars and they are no longer with us anymore," she added. "But I remember they used to love to tell me their stories.

"People enjoy reminiscing on their lives, and I would let them tell me all about it, it was a comfort to them.

"I have come to terms with the fact I am closing and I'm quite happy about it because now I can join in all the activities going on in the village which I have wanted to do for years.

"If I have brought some sort of happiness to someone in these 18 years that's all that matters. I try to never be sad about things or regret things, only be happy about it."

Julie shut the doors for the final time at 3pm on Saturday.