Major Shaftesbury Employer Announces New Staff Recruitment Initiative

One of Shaftesbury biggest employers is opening its doors to potential new staff who want to find out more about the expanding business. Alfred heard why BV Diary is hosting its first recruitment open day.

Read More

Town Traders Saddened by Closure Of Much-Valued Shaftesbury Shop

A much-loved Shaftesbury business has ceased trading. Box of Allsorts, formerly The Toy Box, has been a fixture on Shaftesbury’s High Street since 2007. In April 2017, owners Mark and Sharon Horsman changed the store’s name to reflect an increased range of merchandise that included kitchenware and later books.

The chairman of Shaftesbury Chamber of Commerce, Virginia Edwyn-Jones, was saddened by today’s news. “Box of Allsorts was a lovely shop and a great resource for the town. It is a huge shame that it is closing. The business will be greatly missed,” she said.

Box of Allsorts

For the last four years, Shaftesbury resident Bill Sherriff has bought selections of educational toys in the store before delivering them to the Shaftesbury Primary, Abbey Primary and Fontmell Magna Schools for staff to distribute them to the children. “I’ve bought a lot of toys from Box of Allsorts – scientific things, like potato batteries and weather charts that will give youngsters a run into basic science. Sharon and Mark were very understanding,” Bill said.

He bought additional items in the shop’s recent sale for local kids. “I’ve got things here that are yet to go out.” But Bill was upset when he called in today and saw the shelves being cleared. He says that Mark took him to one side and informed him of the closure. Mr Sherriff says he hopes that the owners and the staff are successful with their future endeavours.

A quick read through the store’s Facebook page reveals how locals have frequently praised this local independent’s customer service. The closure of Box of Allsorts will be felt across the wider community. The business was a strong supporter of local initiatives including fundraising events at Shaftesbury Primary School, Chamber of Commerce activities and, in particular, as a sponsor and strong backer of Shaftesbury Carnival. This September, Box of Allsorts won the Carnival window display competition with their scarecrow.

Karen Hardwick is the owner of Cranborne’s, another of Shaftesbury’s independent businesses. Her shop is next door to Box of Allsorts. “We are very saddened to see our neighbours close,” she said. “Having grown up in Shaftesbury, so many of us have either worked there or shopped there and made many friends along the way.”

Vice-chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, David Perry, owns Shaftesbury Wines, the neighbouring business on the other side. “Mark and Sharon are lovely people who joined in. They worked very hard and tried everything to keep going. Their sudden closure is very sad and I feel for them,” David said.

The owners closed their Sherborne shop in August 2016 before concentrating on the Shaftesbury business. At the time, they stated that reduced footfall in Sherborne, the closure of Sherborne Hotel and internet and mobile phone shopping had influenced that decision.

David has urged locals to consider how shopping online or at retail parks impacts on our town’s traders. “I don’t know, so I can’t comment on what went wrong, other than to point to the obvious cliché of ‘use it or lose it’,” David said.

In August, Sharon Horsman took on the Tuesday Slimming World groups at the Royal Chase Hotel. These sessions have been promoted in the window of the shop. They will continue as normal.

The Semley Grocers Determined To Recover ‘The Lost Art Of Retailing’

The two entrepreneurs behind Compton McRae grocers have fused culinary and retail experience from both sides of the planet to create their ambitious new Semley business. Alfred heard their story and learned about their future goals.

Read More

Massive Street Market And Festive Shopping This Sunday In Shaftesbury

Shaftesbury town centre will be the place for seasonal shopping and festive fayre on Sunday. Some shops are opening especially, to coincide with the large Christmas market.

Read More

Special Branch – How A Former Met Cop Started Christmas Tree Sales In Shaftesbury

A former Metropolitan Police officer is selling Christmas trees outside Shaftesbury Town Hall. Alfred’s Keri Jones spoke with Simon Burge and heard why he switched from the police force to firs – and picked up some tree care tips.

Read More

How The Chamber Of Commerce Will Help Pop-Ups Open In Empty Shaftesbury Shops

Shaftesbury Chamber of Commerce aims to make it easier for pop-up shops to fill empty town centre premises. They have created pop-up lease paperwork, which should meet landlord requirements and help locals who want to try out new retail ideas. Read More

Marketing Skills Give Aimee A Head Start With Shaftesbury’s First Loctician Business

Shaftesbury boasts an impressive range of businesses for a rural community with under 8,000 residents. Now our town can add a ‘loctician’ the range of services. Alfred met the marketing expert who is swapping her computer keyboard for a crochet needle as she offers a little-known professional skill.

Read More

Santa and Free Gifts For Children At Shaftesbury Christmas Lights Switch On

Shaftesbury Chamber of Commerce volunteers are looking forward to launching the town’s countdown to Christmas with their traditional evening of festive food, singing and seasonal surprises. Late Night Shopping is on 2nd December.

Read More

Motcombe’s Black Pig Retreats Nominated For Two Awards

The owner of Motcombe’s Black Pig Retreats says she is ‘very excited’ at being nominated for two awards. Alfred’s Keri Jones visited Carolyn Bourchier to see how the glamping business has creatively embraced sustainability measures.

Read More

The Shaftesbury Businessman Using Army Skills To Identify Heat Loss In Local Homes

A former soldier has applied his army training to help the environment and diagnose medical issues in animals. Alfred’s Keri Jones visited Anthony Walker of Thermosurvey at Shaftesbury’s Wincombe Business Park to see how drones aid his diagnosis.

Read More