Com­mu­nity co-op­er­a­tive breathes new life into Whit­ing Bay store

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A small col­lec­tive of crafts­peo­ple and ar­ti­sans have res­cued a Whit­ing Bay land­mark from fall­ing into dis­use by open­ing a co-op­er­a­tive store in the iconic seafront build­ing which used to house Bay News and Gift Shop.

The newly re­opened and freshly re­fur­bished build­ing has been res­ur­rected as Bay Wool and Crafts and in­cor­po­rates Kat­sock Crafts, Scenes of Ar­ran, The Ar­ran Glass Stu­dio and Granny’s Knits.

The at­trac­tively dec­o­rated shop, which not only serves as an is­land wool sup­plier, also spe­cialises in hand-knit­ted gar­ments from Linda MacCal­lum of Granny’s Knits, knit­ted toys and cush­ions from Kat Sparshott of Kat­sock Crafts, pho­to­graphic art and can­vasses from Ste- phen J Sparshott of Scenes of Ar­ran and stained glass and mo­saics by Jill Jef­fries of the Ar­ran Glass Stu­dio.

In ad­di­tion to th­ese of­fer­ings, Bay Wool and Crafts is a stock­ist of Ar­ran ice cream which vis­i­tors can en­joy, or take home a lux­ury pud­ding from Lil­lyPuds, which pro­duces in­dul­gent pud­dings which come in gluten-free and ve­gan op­tions too.

Speak­ing af­ter the grand open­ing on Mon­day, which more than 65 peo­ple at­tended, Stephen and Kat said: ‘We are de­lighted to be see­ing the Bay News shop be­ing given a new lease of life.

‘We have to thank Whit­ing Bay and District Im­prove­ments for the warm wel­come, along with ev­ery­one that has come to wish us well and sup­port us.

‘The wel­come from our new neigh­bours and the pub­lic has been remarkable, so too from pre­vi­ous pro­pri­etors Bev and Tim Hod­kin­son.

‘Ev­ery­one has been in­cred­i­bly sup­port­ive and help­ful, in­clud­ing County Car­pets, which made a spe­cial ef­fort to get ev­ery­thing look­ing just-right in such a short time.’

The col­lec­tive has grand plans for the store which in­cludes rent­ing a small dis­play area out to other crafts­peo­ple and a reg­u­lar Knit and Nat­ter Club on a Thurs­day where like-minded peo­ple can go and share tips and tricks in the com­pany of oth­ers.

While col­lab­o­rat­ing with other sim­i­lar ven­tures across the coun­try, the group is also plan­ning var­i­ous work­shops and is look­ing to get more in­volved with lo­cal events such as cof­fee morn­ings and other char­i­ta­ble causes.

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Kat and Stephen Sparshott out­side their new store in Whit­ing Bay.

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A se­lec­tion of knit­ted soft toys are avail­able from Bay Wool and Crafts.

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