THERE were long queues outside a farm shop destroyed by a fire as people lined up to buy plants and compost in the car park, to support the devastated owner.

Brett Wilkinson, owner of The Farm Shop at Ombersley, reopened to sell plants and compost outside his store today, following the blaze on Saturday that left his home and business wrecked.

Mr Wilkinson said he was surprised with how busy the store was when he started trading at 10am. “In the first hour, I took over £1,000. People have been giving me more money – if a plant is £12, they have been giving me £20," he said.

Regarding rebuilding the farm shop, he said: “We have to wait for the insurance. At the moment I am going to carry on putting gazebos up every day and adding fruit and vegetables.”

Hundreds of people visited the farm shop today and supported Mr Wilkinson by buying the items left in stock.

He added: “It’s been great today – it’s been like being back on the markets, which is what I used to do. It was a lot easier to set this up than the shop. I would usually wake up at 3am each morning to prepare the shop.”

Because Mr Wilkinson has been camping in the store’s car park since the fire, a family friend, Mark Lawley, offered his house in Fernhill Heath.

Mr Lawley said: “We have known his dad, Alan, for about 30 years.

“I came up the next day after seeing the fire on the news and realised everything had gone, even his house. It was devastating. I wanted to support him.

“I have a house they can have in Fernhill Heath which is fully furnished. He hasn’t taken the offer up. I guess he wants to paddle his own canoe. He is a creature of habit and wants to do his day’s work then do what he wants to do. He has pitched his tent there and wants to keep an eye on stock.”

The Farm Shop will continue trading from 10am to 4pm every day.

A fire service spokesman said an investigation into the cause of the blaze is ongoing.


The Farm Shop at Ombersley re-opens to sell compost and plants after devastating fire

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