A BENEVOLENT butcher found himself a Christmas hero after stepping in after a nearby shop was forced to close following a ram raid attack.
People in High Crompton were unable to buy bread and milk after the Londis store was targeted, meaning it may be closed for up to three months.
But as Christmas approached, when demand was likely to be at its highest, DH Lees stocked the items to help customers.
As a result, people were able buy bread and milk as well as meat from the Rochdale Road store.
And owner Darrel Lees, who drove past the scene minutes before the incident on December 17, insisted it was the least he could do.
He said: “When I saw it could be two or three months that the store could be closed for, it wasn’t a hard decision to make.
“I’ve been at our shop for 31 years and there are a lot of pensioners in the village, as well as schoolchildren.
“I may be a butcher’s shop but it’s not too much trouble to have a few pints of milk and a few loaves of bread on the shelves.
“I drove past the Londis before the incident happened then a few hours later people started coming in asking if we sold bread or milk?
“I was like, ‘What’s happened?’ and then they told me about what had gone on, so I sold whatever milk I had in for our baking.
“Then when the milkman came to make his delivery, I just told him, ‘Leave me whatever you’ve got.’”
The store was open in the days before Christmas and again just afterwards, meaning High Crompton was not a bread and milk free zone at Christmas.
And Darrel added he just had to help a fellow shopkeeper in need.
He said: “The people who own Londis have been there for 20-odd years and it’s been in their family for a long time.
“It’s a fellow business. They come in my shop for sandwiches in the morning and my staff go in there.
“It is how it is in a village – if you can help you will do.”
Londis confirmed the store and Post Office contained in it will be closed while any repairs to the property are made.
A Post Office spokesperson said: “We’re sorry customers for any inconvenience caused by the temporary closure of High Crompton Post Office following the recent robbery.
“We continue to support the postmaster during this difficult time and are in regular contact to discuss plans for reopening the branch going forward.
“In the meantime, the branch remains temporarily closed – we apologise to our customers for any inconvenience caused and thank them for their understanding while we work to reopen the branch as soon as possible.”