The Story So Far

August 16th 2015

For our meeting with a journalist this morning we added a shot of colour to a small section of the shop and moved our spruced up display counter into position. It certainly made it feel less like an estate agency viewing and gave us a teeny glimpse of how wonderful it will be once the place is full of colour and texture.

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August 13th 2015

Big day for us today. The sun may not have got his hat on, but our crown is back in its rightful place above the door and shining over the market place.

Restored, gleaming and with sensors to activate the light when the day draws to a close, we are happy to have the pestle and mortar where it belongs.

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July 26th 2015

MugWatch continues and branches out into a mini series starring ButtonBoggling and NeedlePotPeeking.

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July 19th 2015
Old, new, borrowed, blue.
Old building, new cupboard doors, borrowed wide angle lens, blue paint.

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July 13th 2015

Important things today, and a slight ‘we’re getting closer’ feel to the beginning of the week as Adrian from Ashford Signwriters, ably assisted by his grandson, arrived with the mock-up of our typeface so our glorious building could try it on for size.

It has been a bit of quandary ticking the following boxes: where it ought to go to be visible, yet unobtrusive; clean, but clear; true to how we want to look; not at odds with the pestle and mortar due to be reinstated above the doorway; and, at all times, faithful to the heritage of the building and its position in the heart of our medieval town.

Adrian has extensive experience combined with expert knowledge in working with, and on, Listed Buildings which is why he’s the one doing the job.

Feeling excited and a little emotional this morning.
Maybe a little knitting to restore the calm?

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July 10th 2015
This morning we dropped in to see Rose Dickinson, ceramicist extraordinaire, and maker of our exclusive range of buttons, mugs and needle pots.
In collaboration with Rose, we have chosen an autumnal palette of glazes to co-ordinate with our seasonal yarns. The samples of our choices all sat perfectly on the neutral background so it was a very easy “Fire up the kiln!” and production is under way as you can see from the spread of raw discs on the board.
Rose is a dainty wee soul, her delicate frame a reflection of the sensitivity in her work…don’t be fooled; she’s a dynamo and the clay knows who’s boss! We’ll show you the transformation from bare clay to subtly tinted treasures another day.

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July 5th 2015
As promised, some up to date photos of how it’s going:
the carpenter is doing a sterling job tailoring pigeonholes (they will have sliding door, storage cupboards underneath) to fit the wonderful wonkiness of the room. You can get a good look at what he has to contend with from the fillets he’s put in on the left hand side of the unit.
We have chosen a deep hue, Hicks Blue, for the unit once it is all in place and ready for its public face to go on.
The right hand wall of the shop is glowing richly with its smart, re-stained, shelving. Some sealant will finish that job, along with a final lick of white on the wall behind.
The cleaning up of the gilt lettering above the mirror is a tad more fiddly.
You’ll be glad to hear that the black plastic isn’t a new addition, merely a dust buffer between the shop space and the old dispensing room. There’s a glass panel to be fitted there when sawing and banging is finished (listen out for an effervescent rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus when that day comes…)
Looking forward to our panoramic view of the Market Place when we clean the windows. Give us a wave!

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Progress: 22nd June 2015

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14th June 2015
We took advantage of the builders’ tea break time to get some extra photos:
The lettering makes us smile every time (you’d really hope that accuracy was at the forefront of the preparation, wouldn’t you?!) It gleams under years of varnish and paint as you can see from the little test area on the left. Not a restoration job we can rush, so accuracy in our prep too.
The curved unit is freestanding and will be elsewhere in the main shop so you can see the wall and its goodies clearly.
This week the boarding and wiring for the window display and storage area has been done; a fiddly task with such a quirky building, but all important so we can provide you with superb window displays.

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29th May 2015
As it’s almost the weekend, thought we’d share a few bottles with you…not quite the usual Friday night version of “So, what’s your poison?”
Hoping to clean them up and use a fair few of them for an array of frippery, fixings and findings.

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24th May 2015
We’ve been on-site this afternoon: deciding final colours for the new yarn pigeonhole units and cupboards; getting the heritage colour matched for staining the Georgian pharmacy wall fittings so they have the same burnished beauty as the listed drawers; picking the perfect tone of white for the walls and ceilings.
Thought you’d enjoy a wander through with us as work progresses…

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Standing against the window space through to the old dispensary room, looking towards the shop door and Market Place.

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All measured up for deep window sills with cupboards underneath.

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Easiest design decision we’ve made yet…the strip lights WON’T be staying!
Paint sample patches daubed on a plank.
The window aperture to the right looks through to the old dispensary room.

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The Georgian wall fittings. Shelves have to match the drawers. Correct colour match found.

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Beneath the dust and plywood protecting the glass top is our rather wonderful (really, it is, wait and see…) shop counter made in the 1920s/30s by E. Pollard & Co Shop Fitters, St. John Street, London. They pioneered non-reflective glass shop fronts, put them in what was Simpsons of Piccadilly, now Waterstones, where they remain in situ today.

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Old dispensary room internal window peeking back through into the shop.

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The old dispensary room.

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Dispensary room windows overlooking courtyard. Windows on the right belong to the workshop room.

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Workshop room looking back in towards corridor.


May 6th 2015
Scaffolding gradually being removed; the green has been painted a very smart, dark, matt grey….will share that with you when we have a clear shot!

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