Christmas shopping at a community store in has given locals a little taster of what they can buy over the festive period.

Thorncombe Village Shop held a special pre-Christmas late night opening where customers descended on the shop to sample the products available and buy gifts.

Anne Johnson-Rooks, chair, Thorncombe Village Shop management committee, said: “We had all the Christmassy things we do - cheeses, pheasant pate – some really nice delicacies.

“There was a tasting of a local vodka made with chocolate and wine tasting of the wines we sell.

“All in all, it was a most enjoyable evening and a great opportunity to start feeling the Christmas spirit.” 

The late night opening also saw The Little Boutique, situated inside the community store, stocked with gift items and many customers took the opportunity to do some Christmas shopping.

Father Christmas also took time out from his busy schedule to visit the store, and was thrilled to win the huge box of vegetables in the raffle, thus ensuring that he and the reindeer had all they needed to complete their Christmas dinner. 

The shop is a vital lifeline for villagers with the closest supermarket too far for some to travel.

Anne Johnson-Rooks said: “We are about six miles from the closest supermarket so if we didn’t have the shop people who can’t travel would be stuck.

“We are a community shop run by volunteers that have kept the shop going since 2012.

“We made a profit last year and we are hoping to break-even this year."

She added: “The council have dedicated us as a warm place this winter, so people can come in if they are cold or lonely.

“The other day one lady popped in for coffee and she was still there at lunch.

“We are vital to the community and we strive so hard to keep it going. People just muck in together.”

The store has arranged a Christmas lunch at the village hall on Tuesday, December 12 and it is already fully subscribed after overwhelming demand.