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Mark Blades & his family run country store.

  • FORMER newspaper delivery boy Mark Blades has taken over the village shop in Hovingham where he was once employed.

    Mark delivered morning papers in the village, never believing that one day he would own Hovingham Stores.

    He also worked in the kitchens at the nearby Worsley Arms, to earn extra pocket money.

    The professional electrician, who runs building and electrical company Cooper and Westgate, in York, has taken on the long-established Hovingham business, which will be run by his mother, Linda, who worked in the shop about 20 years ago.

    Mark will be helped by his wife, Rose, mother of their four children, Ellie, eight, Charlie, seven, Annie, three, and Billy, 20 months, and the family will be moving from their home in Amotherby to Hovingham.

  • At a time when many villages are losing their local shop, Hovingham Stores is expected to grow.

    “One of first moves is to ascertain from the existing customers what they want to see the store selling because it is a shop which covers a number of villages,” said Mark.

    He is also planning to extend the shop so it can expand its range.

    He and his family are taking over the business, which overlooks the village green, from Margaret and Martin Goodwill, who have managed it for the past decade.

    Linda, whose husband David is farm manager on the Hovingham Estate, said: “It is going to be an exciting challenge and we are really looking forward to it, especially as I once worked in the shop, and Mark has memories of it when he was a school boy delivering papers each morning.”