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.
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.”