CHALFORD residents welcomed their community shop back into the heart of the village with an opening ceremony on Saturday morning.

Following a long hard battle lasting nearly two years, the store began trading from its new permanent home on the High Street.

Heavy rain did nothing to dampen the spirits of residents, who filled the attractive new premises and the road outside, toasting the success of the campaign with fizzy wine.

Long serving volunteer Leslie Doyle-Davidson cut the ribbon to mark the opening and eager shoppers set the till ringing, bringing the day’s takings to three times above average.

The famous Chalford donkeys Teddy and Chester, who are used to deliver shopping around the village, were on hand to meet and greet visitors.

The shop had been trading from a temporary home in Christ Church on London Road, but through a combination of grant funding, a mortgage and £53,000 share issue it has reopened in the former Seventh Day Advent Hall.