THE village of Shirwell is bucking the rural trend with the re-opening of its village shop. After more than a year in the planning, Lisa and Gary Carey have transformed the former shop and garage which lay empty for more than three years, into a new hub f

THE village of Shirwell is bucking the rural trend with the re-opening of its village shop.After more than a year in the planning, Lisa and Gary Carey have transformed the former shop and garage which lay empty for more than three years, into a new hub for the community.Through their own labours they have rebuilt a shop not only with all the day-to-day essentials, but with individual character, too.Local produce is high on their list, including fresh vegetables, milk, cream, yoghurts, chocolate sauce, meat, poultry, fish from a local fish farm - and Lisa is even baking bread and savoury products herself.And they are carried away in brown paper bags, boxes and wicker bags. "We avoid plastic wherever we can," said Lisa.These lie alongside a selected range of quality national goods and newspapers and services such as a cash machine, Pay Point for utility bills and top-ups for mobile phones.Before they embarked on the venture Lisa and Gary put their ideas to the local community through a meeting and questionnaires to establish needs and reactions to the plan."We had more than 70 replies to the questionnaires, which was very good from a small village," said Lisa. "From there we have put our ideas together. We have also been helped by some funding from the Rural Development Fund through Leader Plus."The response has been very good and in the first two weeks of opening they had been very busy, she said.