The townsfolk had simply become used to the empty house by this time and no one even really noticed it anymore. Then in 2008, Christopher Long (who had, following his retirement, recently moved to Groatie Bay to live with his sister) decided to take up a new hobby ~ namely researching some of the more characterful residents in Groatie Bay's history. He soon came across the story of Captain Smith and became fascinated by this rather mysterious man and his "Tudor house". It is thanks to Christopher's research that what little is known about the Captain is now public knowledge once more.
|Mr Christopher Long|
Christopher was given permission by the town council to thoroughly explore Angel House, and was even jokingly asked if he could come up with a good idea for putting the house to some use! He took his sister, Lady Constance Buchanan, with him and they were both entranced by the story of Captain Smith's house, and the house itself. Now, Lady Constance is very involved in life in Groatie Bay and it was she who had the thought that perhaps Angel House could be converted into a series of little shops. She knew of a few folk who would love to be able to open up their own businesses, but didn't have the funds available to do so "on the high street" as it were.
|Lady Constance Buchanan|
Christopher and Lady Constance took this idea back to the town council, who were very taken with it. The residents of Groatie Bay were asked for their opinion, and it was wonderful to see the enthusiasm and positive response the idea received. So, to cut a long story short, it was agreed that Angel House would now be called "Angel House Galleria", the home of up to six new businesses.
As these things so often do, the redevelopment of Angel House has taken some little while to actually get started, what with funding for the project, all the architectural alterations which had to be drawn up, planning permission, etc, but work is now set to begin early in 2015. I am pleased to be able to tell you that when the redevelopment is complete, there will be five new businesses opening in Groatie Bay!
I will of course keep you regularly updated with photos and progress reports of all the work taking place on the new Angel House Galleria. In the meantime, I can already share with you what the five new businesses are to be. On the ground floor will be: Delday's Delicatessen (James and Maretta Delday) and The Groatie Bay Arts & Crafts Guild. The latter will be a central showcase for members of the Guild to sell their products, and will be run by Broden and Nessa Quinn. The second floor will be Tabitha's Trinkets (Tabitha Tottley) and Blossom & Bloom (Effemy Lamb). The whole of the top floor will be taken over by The China Cup Tea Room (Rhona Wilson and her daughter, Annys).
I am sure that Captain Smith would be so very happy to know that his old home is, as he wished, finally being put to such good use for the benefit of the Groatie Bay townsfolk :-)