It’s not every day that a supermarket sends staff to spruce up a rival shop – but that’s exactly what happened in Saltash, when a baker’s dozen of Tesco employees set to and tidied up the former Elliott’s Grocery Store and painted Mary Newman’s Cottage.
The Tamar Protection Society, which owns the shop and the cottage, had asked the supermarket giant for help and 13 volunteers from Devon and Cornwall obliged.
Organizer Paul Farbrace from Tesco said: “It’s great when a collection of Tesco stores can come together with volunteers to help & assist local projects in the community, as this forms part of our ‘happy towns’ initiative.
Even though we haven’t any stores in Saltash, we were really pleased to be working with the Tamar Protection Society on Mary Newman’s cottage & H. Elliott’s grocery store as this has really helped them get ready for the tourist season.”
Former grocery store owner Frank Elliott closed it in 1973 and turned it into a museum, before bequeathing it to the charity on condition that it remain unchanged. The society also maintains the cottage, which dates back to 1480, as a museum of Tudor Elizabethan life and gardening.
Brigette Dixon, chair to the charity’s board of trustees, said: “Tesco’s cleaned and sorted Elliott’s Shop into a semblance of order not known for many years!
At Mary Newman’s they painted both the inside and the outside of the Elizabethan cottage.
“The board of trustees and volunteers wish to express to all the Tesco people who did an excellent job our heartfelt thanks and gratitude.”