Maureen's Magic, Spooky Gifts

Maureen’s Magic

by Northern Life

Pendle gift shop 'Witches Galore' wins Best Gift Shop award

Witches Galore, owned by Maureen Stopforth, has bagged the title of Best Gift Shop in Lancashire in England’s Business Awards.

Under the shadow of Pendle Hill in the village of Newchurch in Pendle, the shop celebrates the area’s history with plenty of witchy products to buy. “It’s always a bit chaotic,” Maureen admits, “It’s a bit like Auntie Wainwright’s junk shop from ‘Last of the Summer Wine’, but people love it! I hear people from all over the world saying it is their favourite shop. It amazes me!

“We got a letter earlier in the year saying we’d been nominated,” Maureen explains. “My husband Adrian was sceptical, but I thought we should give it a go!”

The awards night took place on the 21st of September at the Mercure Hotel in Manchester Piccadilly, but Maureen didn’t expect to win. “It was an absolute surprise!” She beams.

“I like sharing my knowledge of the witches and the local area.”

Despite the shop’s success, it was never part of Maureen’s plan. “I lived in Nelson in 1980 with my husband and four young children and worked at Burnley College as a technician.” Her husband began dreaming of a quiet life in the country, but she didn’t think it suited her. “We came and looked at Witches Galore. I said I’d die of boredom in a cottage down a tiny lane.”

Fortunately for Maureen, she loved it, and this year marks the 42nd year of her ownership. “You meet so many people,” Maureen explains. “I laugh with them and like sharing my knowledge of the witches and the local area.”

This Christmas, why not buy your loved ones a spooky gift present from the best gift shop in Lancashire? You might even be lucky enough to learn more about the Pendle witches from Maureen herself!

NorthernLife Nov/Dec 23