By Sara Gyngell
Despite six weeks of lockdown, there’s still plenty of fresh food to buy, and essential services on offer, by going down to Fetcham Village. And now more than ever, the traders need your support.
In the past few days they have been telling me how they have been coping and adapting.
Jayanthi Bala who runs Sky News and the Fetcham Post Office has fewer customers, but still finds it difficult to serve the newsagent customers as well as those people wanting to use the Post Office. He says he would appreciate all customers wearing facemasks when entering the shop. Jayanthi has also reduced his opening hours to 8am – 1.30pm Monday to Friday, and 9am – 12pm on Saturdays. Paper deliveries remain unaffected.
Sainsbury’s has changed its business operations, bringing deliveries in earlier, allowing the shelves to be 80% restocked before opening. This helps free movement of customers and the two-metre rule to be observed.
Sally, the manager, says this is an improvement on behaviour at the start of lockdown when some staff were verbally abused and even coughed at. Security guards have solved the problem. However, Sally has noticed that although social distancing has improved she asks that customers would remember that it applies to her staff too. Extended opening from 7.30am – 10pm has also helped ease congestion, although she’s noticed an increase in the number of people “popping” in more than once a day for the odd item.
Greenwise, the grocers, is very popular and has added an online delivery and collection service. The café remains closed but cups of fresh coffee are available for takeaway. Visit the website where items currently available are listed. Staff ask for your patience when waiting for a reply. They have reduced their opening hours to Monday to Friday 8.30 – 2.30pm and 9am – 3pm on Saturdays.
William Dyer, the excellent Deli, has started a delivery service on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Grace explained that orders for ready meals can be telephoned through the day before and paid by card. They have volunteers who then deliver the food for free to those in Fetcham village who are isolating. Practising social distancing means only two customers at a time in the shop and they prefer card payments. I can highly recommend the Raspberry Bakewell - it was delicious!
At the Boots Pharmacy, Kym Huang Dal and his team are doing their best to help us all stay healthy. Kym says he’s been impressed with the village's community spirit as people collect prescriptions and look after one another. Due to lockdown, the volume of calls the pharmacy receives has increased tenfold, and with a number of staff needing to self-isolate they have been extremely busy. He is hoping they will be almost back to capacity next week.
Dolittles Pet Supplies is keeping our pets well looked after, offering a no-contact delivery service for all your pet needs. Orders can be telephoned (361566) through and either delivered or collected from the shop.
And next door, the vets Pet Doctors (379636) have recently reopened with a small staff working 8.30am-7pm, Monday to Friday, primarily for emergencies. They are also offering telephone consultations to determine if they can treat your pet remotely, or whether a visit to the surgery is required. A closed door policy is in operation, and clients are asked to call or knock on arrival and a member of the team will pass out medication or take your pet into the clinic. For those who cannot collect medication, Shannon the veterinary nurse, says they will post, or even deliver, if staff availability allows.
Tailor and Clean, the dry cleaners and alterations business, re-opened last week. But opening hours are reduced from 9am to 2pm.
And finally, that Friday night take away (or any other night) is still just a phone call away!
The Fetcham Tandoori is open for collection and delivery, card payment only. Owner Raj Haque says: “We would like to express our deep gratitude , to all our customers who are supporting us at this critical time of pandemic. We really appreciate their support.”
The restaurant is also generously offering free takeaway meals (except Fridays and Saturdays) for vulnerable people and pensioners who are having to self-isolate.
Other outlets still offering takeaway are: Trattoria Da Carlo (delicious pizza takeaways); Surrey Spice; and Wings Garden Chinese Takeaway.