... and you're the first to know.
On Monday work begins in the vacant unit adjacent to Dairy House. A chance enquiry to the landlord's agent a couple of weeks ago saw me hot-footing it to view 500 square feet of empty space which conveniently abuts the wall of one of our ground floor rooms. It transpires that it was part of the old Semley Dairy (see below) with the same black and white tiled floor, where the cheese was made.
Across the road is the railway line which runs from Exeter (I think) to London, and in the pre-Beeching days Semley Station was operational. In the late 1800s milk from Semley Dairy was put on the London train twice a day. In fact, a reference on this website states: "Creameries were located in country areas, usually beside a main line to allow fast transit to the town(s) being served. The first rail connected milk collection depot at Semley in Wiltshire opened in 1871 alongside the LSWR main line. This was the first wholesale milk depot built to supply London."
And we are mentioned again "The earliest wholesale depot created primarily for the London market was opened at Semley in 1871" From: 'Other industries', A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 4 (1959), pp. 220-253. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=102814 Date accessed: 30 June 2009.
So, we have history! And some of you may have spotted the 'deliberate' mistake. According to the quotes Semley is in Wiltshire. It is, to all intents and purposes, but because the postal town is Shaftesbury, which is in Dorset, Semley is these days listed as being in Dorset. Confusing? Yes, indeedy! With no disrespect to those of you living in Wiltshire, and when all said and done I lived there, too, for 8 years, I prefer to think of us as being in Dorset.
However, I digress ...
Next Monday, as I said, sees work commencing in the vacant unit and, before we know it, hey presto, there will be a hole knocked through and we shall have more space. There's lots to be done before we are fully operational in "The Cheese Room" and I have yet to fill the space with dealers. However, the opportunity was another one that had to be taken in the lifetime of the opportunity (long-time followers of my blog will know this maxim) and had I not taken the plunge the space would have been let to someone else and the moment would have passed, possibly never to return. As there is absolutely no other building into which we could expand there was really no question of whether or not I was being sensible.
I'll keep you posted, and will show before and after photos soon. Little did we know when I asked you to join me on the Dairy House journey that it would involve building works and expansion. Fingers and toes crossed, please!