A VILLAGE store in a picture postcard Saddleworth village has reopened for business ... with a real touch of glass.

Brian and Andjelka Hodgkinson kept their promise to open the store by the middle of this month but the installation of a new computer equipment means the Post Office section cannot open until June.

However, shoppers to the new airy, streamlined store on Woods Lane, Dobcross were treated to a stunning display of Andjelka’s individually hand crafted art works in baked glass.

Smiling Andjelka, who was born in Yugoslavia, spent years developing her unique artistic technique while she, her husband and their three children lived abroad when Brian worked on engineering contracts.

Her displays include tasteful bowls and a wide collection of colourful walls plaques and murals.

But she insisted: “The shop is not about me - it’s all about the village. Brian was born and raised here and although we’ve spent a lifetime travelling the world Dobcross has always been our home.”

The Village Store and Post Office closed last year and locals feared it would not return.

The couple own the shop and a large seven bedroomed apartment above the premises.

Brian said: “We are gratified by the warm response to our plans to reopen the business. It’s very heartening. But if it is to remain, villagers will have to use it.”

Originally the couple had hoped to open the Post Office simultaneously but they were advised by the Post Office management team computer equipment installed just two years ago would be replaced.

“ But despite this setback, we’ve gon ahead with a ‘soft opening’ of just the Village Store,with opening hours until further notice.

“The openin hours will be subject to review once the Post Office services and newspaper supplies have been re-established.”

He added: “We are attempting to provide and eclectic range of products to suit all members of the community, however we would welcome positive feedback where we might still have gaps to fill.

“It is now over 20 years since Andjelka and I ran the shop, and as we have spent 12 of the intervening years living abroad, our UK product knowledge probably needs updating.

“However, to guide us in the right direction, we are pleased to announce Tim Newbold, ex of The Swan and now Millgate Theatre Impresario, has agreed to work with us and we believe his experience of the licensed and retail trades will be invaluable.”

Tim, well known community champion, added: “I’m always willing to help and I sincerely hope the villagers support their endeavour.

The stores opening hours are: Monday to Friday 8,30 am to 1pm - and 2pm to 5.30pm. Saturday 8.30 am - 12.30.