THERE were cheers of delight as a village finally got its shop back.
All the stops have been pulled out to make sure Hambledon has a village shop it can be proud of.
The People’s Market in West Street has been a fixture in the village for as long as anyone can remember, but it closed suddenly earlier this year.
The flooding misery last winter was cited as one of the reasons for the tenant quitting and the landlord taking back the premises.
Since then the old building has been given a new lease of life by the Young family, who also run shops in Rowlands Castle, Lovedean and Clanfield.
The windows of the shop include stunning black and white photographs of Hambledon, including a roof-top panorama of the village and the famous Hambledon vines.
Another photograph of people playing cricket – paying homage to Hambledon’s history as the original pioneer of the sport – will be put up at a later date.
Heather Kille, 75, a retired teacher who has lived in the village for 50 years, was one of the first shoppers.
She said: ‘It’s wonderful – especially as you get older.
‘This man is interested in what we want and that’s what we need.
‘Going to Waterlooville at the moment is not on.’
Doug Rose-Smith, 65, said: ‘It’s a fantastic new opportunity for villagers to save time and help save the environment.
‘We’ve had to drive all over the place. The carbon footprint of the village will go down considerably.’
Tony Higham, chairman of the flood action group, said: ‘The village is absolutely delighted.
‘It was a lifeline during the flooding.
‘As we go into a period of uncertainty now, who knows, it may be a lifeline again.’
Hambledon councillor Caroline Dibden said: ‘It’s been a while coming, but we are happy it’s up and running.
‘It’s a big improvement on what’s been there for the last few years.
‘It’s part of the community and brings everyone together.’
Georgia Young, 20, who helps to run the shop, said: ‘We love it.
‘It’s been the biggest change-around.’