Woolbrook hoping for Post Office reprieve

PUBLISHED: 09:47 15 February 2009 | UPDATED: 08:30 18 June 2010

UPSET Woolbrook residents are praying they don t lose their Post Office as its future remains uncertain.

UPSET Woolbrook residents are "praying" they don't lose their Post Office as its future remains uncertain.

The Herald understands official receivers, with whom the future of the service now lies, will begin to consider what will happen to the premises next week.

Subpostmaster Sharon Fabry, who was drafted in from Ottery St Mary to keep the service going, is hopeful Woolbrook will keep Post Office services in one form or another.

She said: "We still don't know if we are staying or not. Everyone is very much behind us. This is a very busy office - I'm sure they (Post Office Ltd) would try and re-locate it nearby- if they can stay in Woolbrook they will. Fingers are crossed.

Pensioner Alma Turner, 85, a Manstone Avenue resident for 25 years, is indicative of the core customers who use the Post Office.

She said: "I miss it (the shop) dreadfully. It's a tragedy this has all happened, they (former owners) put so much work in- they didn't deserve this.

"This is where I get my pension packet and I use it twice, even three times a week.

"The Post Office closing would be terrible, I will have to wait ages to go to town on the bus or rely on the kindness of friends or neighbours.

"It's a nightmare to get there and back, we need the post office here so much- I depend on it. I pray someone will step in."

Fellow Manstone Avenue resident and mum of two Natalie Lawrence, 27, was also put off by the prospect of having to travel in to Sidmouth.

She said: "Nine times out of ten I try to avoid driving - the thought of having to drive into town with the high price of petrol and parking- its horrific."

Hayman's Butchers Mark Cooke, 31, and Nick Rush, 47, said the loss of the service could detract from Woolbrook's independent businesses.

Mr Cook said: "It would ruin there community. I've grown up in Sidmouth and I know the place, I think it will take trade away from the shops."

Mr Rush said: "We are worrying it will close- people go there pick up their pension and then go to the bakers ,chemist, butchers and news agent."

Woolbrook newsagent David Mehmet shares concerns but is hopeful and determined to see the service remain for local residents and said he was willing to accommodate it in his shop should the worst happen. He said: "I would be surprised if it went. A commercial post office is a viable business."

"We need a post office to support the community that is supporting us- it is a most important thing keeping it here- I have said if we can fit the service in here then we will."

Post Office Ltd current services will continue until a "long term solution is found.

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