Where do Rylanders go if they need a pint of milk, a hair cut, or a bottle of wine? Not that surprisingly they can get all these things and more within the Rylands. What may be more of a surprise is you can also pick up a portaloo, a very good haircut, some vegan fast food, or even talk to an experienced Luthier (stringed instrument expert) on Lily Grove if you so wish.
We’ve had numerous shops here over the years, but if you a newcomer (or a resident of just the last 20 years or so) you’ll perhaps remember the post office on the corner of Trafalgar Road, the various food outlets on Lilac Crescent, or the afternoon tea shop on Trafalgar near the old Plessey site.
News and Essentials that most refer to as “the Cob Shop” is a ‘jewel in the crown’ of Rylands retail and has faced many challenges and reincarnations over the years. The vast shelves that held the extensive DVD lending library 20 years ago now bears a fantastic range of wines, chilled foods, cupboard essentials, and even has its own garden centre out the front. Winter hasn’t arrived until we see the Facebook post from owner Lloyd that sledges are out and ready for purchase.
After a conversation with Lloyd it became obvious him and his colleagues are driven by a passion and enthusiasm for serving the Rylands. What we also learnt are his extensive ambitions for the shop and is commitment to supporting local charities. The good news is Lloyd and his partners Pat and Andy are around to stay, having just signed a ten year lease.
While change is inevitable and bigger retail places may evolve, the strength of communities is measured in the power of its supporters. It’s lovely to hear about the days gone by and also see the enthusiasm of more recent businesses firming their roots in to the Rylands and creating new memories.
The resilience of our community really does offer hope and continuity, with creative and green-fingered individuals opening up pop up shops outside their front doors selling such things as rhubarb and gladioli or veg and bedding plants, or even something creative from local artists.
We’re also got the recent initiative of incredible edible project down at Leyton Crescent providing a sustainable healthy scheme that has been accessed by families, who have helped plant, grow and nurture the produce offering all in the Rylands delicious home grown veg in return.
Community at its best – use or lose it!
JB & NR
Janet Barnes and Naomi Robinson; Rylands community activists