Midgley Community Forum and Midgley Matters Association Ltd –
By the end of the 1990s Midgley had lost its last pub and the chapel had closed down. The only remaining facilities in the village were the shop and the school. There was no longer any community space where villagers could meet up and socialise together outside their own homes.
Then in 2001 the village shop and post office closed down unexpectedly leaving villagers without anywhere to buy a loaf of bread or bottle of milk without having to wait for a bus or getting into their car.
Midgley Community Forum is Born
A large group of concerned residents came together to plan a way forward, and in 2002 the Midgley Community Forum was formed. A commitment was made to bring about the setting up of a community room and a shop, and a number of sub-committees were established to bring this plan to fruition.
The Search for Suitable Premises
Fund raising activities commenced and the search began for suitable premises. Forum members worked tirelessly, and with the help of the Village Retail Services Association we gradually moved forward and everything came together in September 2003 when our village shop, post office and community room opened for business in Great House Barn. Many volunteers helped out with building and decorating work, as well as arranging a wide range of fund raising events and activities.
The volunteer-run shop and post office were based on the ground floor and the community room was housed upstairs in the owner's newly opened art gallery. A stair lift and disabled toilet made sure that no-one had been left out of Midgley's new community venture.
Fund Raising for the Benefit of the Community
Appropriate provisions were included in the Midgley Community Forum constitution to ensure that all fund raising proceeds would be for the benefit of the community. To recognise the trading position of the shop, Midgley Matters Association Ltd was created on the lines of a United Provident Society, to ensure that no one individual would lose or benefit in the event of the enterprise failing.
At last we had a focal point in the village with people walking up and down and speaking to each other! Hard work had been rewarded with a superb amenity that all could use.
Sadly the Post Office pulled the plug on our sub post office at the time when they were axing hundreds of others and so we said goodbye to ours in August 2008. Around the same time the lease break was actioned by the landlord and we needed new premises.
See the Shop History page for what happened next.