Tag Archives: Post Office

Part-time Post Office at Bedford Hall

Bedford Hall

Thorney will have a Post Office service, but it may be three months before it can be set up.

The current Post Office at the Rose & Crown pub will close on April 2 and a new, part-time service is being set up in the Parish Meeting Room at the Bedford Hall.

At the beginning of February, a senior officer of Post Office Counters met with representatives of Thorney Parish Council and the Bedford Hall Management Committee to discuss a way of keeping a Post Office facility in Thorney.

The meeting was told that staff from Parson Drove would operate this Post Office, if they were agreeable, and it would be open for two to three sessions a week, each lasting two to three hours.

At a Parish Council meeting on Monday, the decision was taken to set up the Post Office in the Parish meeting room – a ramp is available for disabled customers.  Currently, it is thought that it would open on Monday possibly for four hours, then two more sessions of three hours on days still to be confirmed.

Once the Post Office closes at the Rose & Crown, it could be up to three months until the new Post Office will be up and running.

 

Post office closes doors as Gill retires – now we’re off to the pub

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Thorney’s sub-post office closes its doors this week as postmistress Gill Taylor retires after 14 years.

She’s now looking forward to a nice holiday with husband John.

The post office is moving to the Rose & Crown (it opens there on Thursday, March 19) and the current premises will be converted into a cottage and sold.

“It’s a shame as it is the last shop to go in this part of the village, but I’m pleased that the pub has taken it on,” said Gill. “It would have been so sad if the village had lost the post office completely.”

She has enjoyed her time running the business and says she has met some lovely people. “I will miss them, but after running the place single-handed I’m really looking forward to a rest.”

She became postmistress just as the post office was being computerised and has seen the business branch out into lots of different areas. “There are now so many things you can do at the post office – we could offer credit cards, arrange mortgages, you could even book tickets for National Express coaches on the computer.”

Other changes were less welcome. The loss of TV licensing took away a chunk of revenue and other services have gone on-line, bypassing the need to go into the post office.

“It’s almost as if the government has been strangling small post offices; it’s become harder and harder. With everything now commission-based, I don’t think anyone would be able to buy a post office as a business and make it pay.

“It’s lucky Steve at the Rose & Crown can incorporate into that business. I hope people support him and it does well.”

Gill was born in Elstree, Hertfordshire and her first job was in a bank just across the road from the Elstree film studios. She and her colleagues were able to do a little celebrity spotting between customers and she saw Roger Moore when he was filming James Bond, also Cliff Richard making Summer Holiday.

She moved to Thorney 40 years ago when husband John came to work for an agricultural machinery specialist. They have three sons, one daughter and two grandchildren.

She and John were members of Thorney Abbey choir for many years.

Footnote:

Gill Taylor, says she has been absolutely “blown away” by the number of good wishes, cards, flowers and gifts she has received from individuals; as well as a large bouquet of flowers from the parish council.

“Through the Thorney Post, I’d like to thank everyone for their good wishes and kindness, it’s been really lovely. I didn’t expect anything like the response there has been, it’s been wonderful.”

“I’m not on Facebook, but my daughter showed me how many people had posted their good wishes on the page. Thank you everyone.”

Post office opens in village pub

The Rose & Crown

The post office opens in the Rose & Crown on Thursday, March 19.

There’s an official opening at 1pm, with BBC Radio Cambridgeshire covering the event live.

Landlord Steve Shreeve is putting finishing touches to alterations to accommodate the post office, which will have extended opening hours and a new cafe alongside.

To start with, it will be open from 9am to 7pm Tuesday to Saturday, although Steve may open later if there’s a demand. Sunday hours are 9.30am to 3pm. The Rose and Crown is closed on Mondays.

It will be offering most of the facilities previously available, but is a “Post Office Local” rather than a Sub-Post Office, so will have a slightly cut-down service. There will be pensions, personal banking, foreign currency and letter/parcel post.

“With NatWest closing in Whittlesey, it will mean people can do their banking more easily in the village,” said Steve. “It will be a lot more convenient too. Because we’re open until 7pm, it means people will be able to pop in after work.”

We’ll still be able to collect parcels from the post office in the pub and Steve thinks that undelivered catalogue deliveries will also be able to be left there for later collection.

The post office counter is in the public bar and this is being fitted out with tables and chairs so people can have tea or coffee, sandwiches and cakes. The cafe will be open from 9am for breakfasts ranging from a full English or a bacon roll to tea and toast. In the winter, Steve promises a roaring fire in the adjoining Hunt Room.

“A lot of people in the village, especially at weekends, go out for breakfast to different cafes, so they’ll now be able to come in and get a full breakfast here,” said Steve.

A ramp has been built at the front of the pub so there’s easy access for wheelchair users and other alterations to the outside have seen the hedge lowered to provide more light and a patio laid by the side entrance, which will have cafe tables when the weather is warmer.

During the summer, the front of the pub is having major alterations. The existing access points for car parking are being blocked and a new entrance created from the road between the Rose & Crown and the Village Store. This will cut across what’s now the side garden and will mean there will be easier access and more parking for both pub and post office customers.