Broadcaster Emma Freud was on hand to cut the red ribbon at the official re-opening of a much loved village store in north Suffolk.

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There had been fears that Walberswick, near Southwold could lose The Tuck Shop in Main Street after previous owners Nick and Gill Jones decided to move to pastures new.

But the East of England Co-operative Society stepped in to buy the store and save it from being lost.

After a minor refurbishment it was officially reopened yesterday and Ms Freud - a long standing resident of Walberswick and regular user of the shop - was on hand to do the honours.

She said: “We welcome the East of England Co-op, with its ethical approach to business, as the new owners. We know they recognise the Tuck Shop is very precious to this warm Walberswick community and that it needs lots of love and support.”

Also happy to see the store reopened was Ms Freud’s mother, Lady Jill Freud, who has been using the Tuck Shop for over 60 years.

She said: “As a much loved and well used amenity for the village, the whole pattern of life in Walberswick would have changed for everyone if the Tuck Shop had closed.

“We are grateful to the society for coming to the rescue and are confident they will maintain the high standard set by Gillian and Nick and continue to provide a marvellous facility.

“We are particularly delighted that the present staff are staying on as we would have missed them a lot.”

Roger Grosvenor, executive officer – retail for the East of England Co-op, said they were delighted with the welcome they had received.

He said the store would continue to stock previous Tuck Shop products as well as Co-op favourites.

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