Patterdale Village Store and Post Office
All text and images © Patterdale Village Store amd Post Office 2020
Patterdale Village Store is For Sale
July 4th weekend 2005 saw Tom and I arrive in Patterdale from the USA for two days to look at Patterdale Village Store and Post Office, the home and business we had bought over the internet. We were smitten. Then back to Florida and over the next two months we quit our jobs, sold our house and cars and on September 29th (Gillian’s birthday incidentally) we took possession of what was to be our home and livelihood for the next 15 years. And what a time it has been. We took a leap of faith and never looked back.
We were doing something neither of us had done before and after great training from the previous owners we took the reins. Patterdale is such a beautiful place, with scenery we can take in everyday from windows in the front and back of the lovely three bedroomed house that we now called home.
As the weeks and months went on we gradually began to remember the names of all the locals who came in and to get an idea of the kind of shop we wanted to run – no great major changes but we introduced various new ideas as time passed. And so the months and years started to roll by and we grew to love this village and valley and all the hills around us that have become old friends. Every spring we witness the birth of new born lambs in the field opposite, the daffodils appear, followed by swathes of bluebells in Glamara Park, just a 5 minute walk behind the house. We rush out to see the beautiful herd of cows being taken to their winter quarters along the road just outside our door (one year, rather alarmingly,a bull showed great interest in our shop!) When October arrives, so does the rutting of the red deer and their primaeval roar on the flanks of Place Fell opposite us (a good pair of binoculars is a must). You may be lucky enough to find an antler lying in the middle of a bog as I did. Walking in the fells on the long summer evenings when the shop is closed and the visitors are down in the pubs, is blissful, and taking advantage of our afternoons off in the winter to travel further afield. Winter was also the time to plan our holidays.
Once we had got the hang of running the shop and Post office we were able to get involved in some of the many opportunities in the community. Tom taught Spanish at the local primary school for a while, and I became a Parish Councellor, First Responder and then became Secretary the local Village Hall, meeting more and more people as time went on. There is a real sense of community in the Ullswater Valley, which saw us through the floods of 2015 and heavy snowfalls and icy conditions disrupting traffic and cutting off vulnerable people.
As we are right on Wainwright’s Coast to Coast path, we get to meet so many hikers from all over the world. Julia Bradbury paid us a visit on her televised Coast to Coast Walk which was such great publicity and her Video of the programme is watched still today. Let us blow our own trumpet a moment and suggest you look at “Coast to Coast Path” by Henry Stedman and Stuart Butler Page 135 – 136. Patterdale Village Store is also the first shop that agreed to sell the famous Wainwright Lake District Guide Books back in the 1950s and there is a slate plaque outside the shop installed by the Wainwright Society stating just that.
This shop has been here for over 100 years, serving the local community and the many visitors who come here every year. We have seen local children grow from toddlers to become young men and women and have made life- long friends along the way, including many of those who come every year to visit and make the shop their destination. If we were 10 years younger we would not be leaving, but there are new adventures awaiting us and we will hand over the shop with great sadness but knowing we worked hard to make it the successful business it is today. Now it is time for someone else to take over Patterdale Village Store and make it their own.