The report (CP, 02-10-20) about the huge brewery fire in Newport back in October 1979 reminded us of the day we had just moved into our newly purchased shop at 7 and 8 Holyrood Street.  
We had been given the go-ahead to take possession a day or so ahead of official completion in order to start an extensive refurbishment of the old property.
On the fateful day of the brewery fire, we were only some hundred yards from the brewery building and the heat from the flames caused our shop’s plate glass windows to grow too hot to touch. (Later on we heard that our very anxious solicitor had been praying hard in the hope that we had taken out buildings insurance — we had!)
The reason for the intensity of the fire? We were told that a contractor had been storing pitch pine timber inside the building and that was guaranteed to go off like a bomb after local kids had set light to the inside when playing there with matches.
Several hectic weeks later, we had opened our shop as Grain of Truth, the Island’s first fully dedicated wholefoods outlet and we remained in business until 1986 when we left the Island to live aboard a narrowboat on the Grand Union Canal near Heathrow Airport.    
We sold the shop to someone who used it as a base for oriental imports and it became known as the Silk Road.  Later on it reincarnated into its present shape as The Smoke House (A rather fitting title, thinking back to 1979...).
Our time in Holyrood Street was not without intrigue. We discovered that our place was haunted and from time to time happenings occurred that had no explanation in normal life.  
Further up the road in what used to be Yelfs the Printers, a young family with twin daughters moved in only to find that they, too, were haunted by a poltergeist.  
Our joint experiences were recorded in Gay Baldwin’s books in the Most Haunted Island series.
Grain of Truth gained us lots of friends not just on the Island but from North Island as well.  
Many still feature in our address book but we are sorry not to have kept up with the dear old lady who came in on our final trading day to ask where would she be able to buy her usual order of half an ounce of fresh yeast every other week now we were closing down?  
We apologised for her inconvenience but suggested that if she had increased her order to a whole ounce every week, we just might just have been able to keep trading!

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