Lily Neal opened the business which is now known as The Topsham Bookshop in 1993, and so after 27 years of dealing in secondhand books in Fore Street, she is one of the oldest-serving retailers in the town, with long experience in working for and with local businesses and in dealing with local councils. In her early years as a shopkeeper here she was very involved with the erstwhile Topsham Traders Association, at one stage serving as its Chairman and also, through the Association, taking on the role of Co-ordinator for the two Topsham Maritime Weekend events which happened in the late 1990s.
Always involved in local activities, Lily has done voluntary work for the Topsham Museum (including writing a short book on its founder, Dorothy Holman) and served on the committee of the Topsham Film Society. She has also (at different periods!) run a poetry appreciation class and a singing group in the town, and been a founder member of the TCMS, helping to arrange chamber music concerts four times a year In Topsham for over five years.
A few years ago she was heavily involved in the group known as Save The Topsham Gap, which has tried to protect the town from inappropriate development, but lately she has devoted her time to Love Topsham.