Village shop named the best in the North

Owner Helen Tesseyman has introduced a number of innovations since taking on Spellows four years ago. (S)
Owner Helen Tesseyman has introduced a number of innovations since taking on Spellows four years ago. (S)

A village shop and post office has put Marton-cum-Grafton on the map after beating competition from across the North in the Countryside Alliance’s Rural Oscars.

Spellows was named Northern Champion in the Village Shop / Post Office category, edging out four other finalists from as far afield as Cumbria, South Yorkshire and County Durham.

Owner Helen Tesseyman said she was delighted: “It’s an amazing achievement. I never set out to win awards when I set it all up four years ago. I’ve no idea who nominated me, but I’m very pleased they did!”

Some of her innovations include a deli counter, homemade ready-meals, fresh flowers, and a wide range of local produce.

Judge Charlotte Cooper said she was a “worthy winner”, adding: “Helen goes out of her way for the community – for the less mobile and very elderly she delivers to those who need it, checks up on people if she’s not seen them for a while, and is really supported by the community.”