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.