The future of one of the oldest family shops in the Wye Valley is in no doubt, say its owners, after the mystery surrounding its closure for the past seven months.
Browns store in Llandogo has been run by the same family in the quiet village of Wyeside since 1928, but was thrust into the global spotlight three years ago with a starring role in the hit Netflix series Sex Education.
Mystery shrouded its long-term future, however, after the shutters fell last November and the workshop in Wye Valley Road was surrounded by fences, with signs saying it was a ‘construction site’. of construction”.
A notice in the window said it was closed for renovations, but local Trellech United councilor Bob Dagger said earlier this year that despite inquiries villagers did not know what was going on.
However, family member Catherine Green has now reassured people that it will reopen, following renovations and major structural work, including asbestos removal from the roof.
Run by Roger Brown and his wife Ruth since the late 1950s, he sadly passed away shortly after starring as the store in the first Netflix series in 2019.
And at the age of 81, Ruth has decided to hang up her apron at the end of 2021 after 63 years of serving locals and visitors to Wye Valley.
This led to more and more speculation about its future, but Ruth’s daughter Catherine revealed that work was underway and that they would lease the business so it could continue to serve the local community.
She posted on the Llandogo Facebook page: “First of all, I would like to personally apologize for not giving you all an update regarding the refurbishment of Browns Village stores.
“As you know, the store temporarily ceased operations on November 19, 2021.
“We have started internal works within the property to meet building regulations and to accommodate a new tenant to let as a convenience store.
“This will once again allow the Community Store to proudly serve Llandogo and the surrounding areas, as was started by my grandfather and grandmother in 1928 and continued by my father and mother.
“However, we discovered several major structural and maintenance issues, which were unanticipated until we began to remove existing in-house manufacturing.
“We exhibited a significant amount of work, including asbestos removal from the attic.
“Unfortunately, at the moment, I cannot commit to a reopening date.
”I can, however, assure you that Brown’s village shop will be restored to Llandogo, in accordance with my father’s wishes.
“Thank you all for your continued interest, positivity and support for my family.
“Catherine, James, Francesca, Finn Harri and my mother Ruth.”
Sex Education is filmed in the Wye Valley and the Forest of Dean, and the main role of the store saw fans of the series flock to the store, boosting trade.