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  • Writer's pictureFiona Bielby

The Smithy Arms Forge Onwards

If thinking outside of the box is one of your strong points then surviving this period of time will be tough, but maybe not as tough as it could have been. With so many businesses including my own having to pretty much shut down, things are tight, I’ve been lucky enough to have a few couples ordering my beautiful Fine Art Wedding Albums and a few prints, which has helped massively short term, so thank you if you are one of those people.

The long term plan is important too, after all no one really knows what’s going to be happening in a weeks time let alone where we will be in a years time. We can only plan as well as possible for the hurdles we may need to face but remember to remain positive, seek opportunity and hopefully, we’ll try to come out of the other side of this this on our feet. Our local pub down the road from us has done just this, it’s been resourceful, thoughtful and quick to do so. When it was announce just over a month ago that pubs, bar and restaurants would need to shut for the foreseeable future, they could have done just that, but not The Smithy Arms in Swinton. This spot reopened only days later as a “pup-up shop” they were able to initially sell off the produce they’d already bought, stuff that would have otherwise had to go in the bin, along with this they got other essential items in stock too. The shop now has a good array of goods from dry ingredients to fresh. (Some things that you were unable to buy in the supermarket until recently, like flour, beans and tinned tomatoes, The Smithy have had all along.) They sell household cleaning products, a basic assortment of animal essentials and they’ve even started selling takeaways too! I’m yet to try one but have heard from various people that they are really good, their prices start at just £7.50 for Fish & Chips and Scampi, Peas & Chips; they also offer Burgers and Pies.

Shop keeper
I always leave this spot smiling, thanks to this likeable lady.

Hmm, I think I’ll go for the Pie, Mash and Peas when we do order. Rachel (the lovely lady behind the bar) also recommends that you call ahead and order your takeaway to avoid disappointment, she advised it wasn’t essential but was the best thing to do so you can arrange a safe pick up.

Fresh fruit and veg
Fresh produce is readily available, I swear this is the BEST broccoli I've had in ages!!

Freshly baked bread, I believe it is baked locally too.

Beer and wine.
Alcohol anyone? Get your emergency supplies here.

Pet food.
Perfect for emergencies, just to keep them going or to give them a little treat.

The orangery is the sunniest shop I've been in!

Hints of the place it was before this, with local artworks on the wall; nevertheless Covid-19 reminders are lurking in plain sight below.

Pet food, cleaning products, canned food and cereal.

Wood and potatoes
Local potatoes, fire wood they've got it covered.

The restaurant
This was the restaurant, now it's full of stock, I found this a little crazy at first, so weird to see what has (temporarily) become of this local pub.

Fresh veg
Fresh veg, I was so pleased to see fresh produce to help do my top up shop.

Taking all this in to consideration, the shop has taken the Corona Virus very seriously, with only 3 people being allowed in at once. It’s good to know they are thinking of everyone’s safety. If there is something you are struggling to get hold of it’s always worth an ask or a phone call, to see if it’s something they stock, the shop is receiving daily deliveries based on what patterns they are seeing their customer buy.

For now the table numbers lay dormant, over ridden by this inviable killer.

carrot cake and chocolate loaf
If you fancy a treat, these are made locally too...

Ready meals
Sick of cooking, but don't want to brave the supermarket? Here we have some warm up at home ready meals. Sweet and Sour, Chicken Tikka...

Diary products.
Diary produce and also dairy free stuff too, you can get hold of cheese and milk alternatives. This I find extremely reassuring seems as my son is dairy free.

Opening hours
They open at 9am daily and stay open until late. (I think around 7pm ish.)

I really wanted to document a business who has embraced the pandemic safely and well, I did so taking in to consideration all of the social distancing measures, I feel it’s important to capture these things for the future generations. Hopefully they will be inspired by the determination of this small business, it really has become a community hub.

Photography by Anoif Photography

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