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Former RAF squadron leader swoops in to run post office
A RETIRED RAF Squadron Leader is set to come to the rescue of a village which lost its Post Office in June.
Retired RAF engineer Mike Powell has offered to run the facility from the tea rooms run by Dorchester Abbey.
Dorchester-on-Thames lost its post office when the sub-postmaster retired.
But Mr Powell has taken up the Post Office’s offer to run a counter at the tea rooms, next to the Abbey. A consultation is taking place.
Until now, villagers have gone to Wallingford and Warborough to use Post Office services.
The Abbey post office would offer all the usual services except passport forms and motor tax.
Mr Powell is a sub-postmaster at Warborough, about two miles away.
He said: “There are plenty of old people who can’t get to Wallingford who need the facilities we provide – banking, paying in money, taking out cash. I think people still want to do that.
“I used to think it was redundant but people are still coming back so I don’t see it as a declining service.”
It is not the first time the Warborough resident – who retired from the RAF 10 years ago – has rescued closed post offices.
Vicar of Warborough, Reverend Sue Booys, asked him to run the post office there when it closed 10 years ago.
Shortly after the post office in Brightwell-cum-Sotwell, near Didcot, also closed, so he took that on as well.
He now runs both six mornings a week with assistants from 9am to 1pm and until noon on Saturdays.
The Warborough Post Office is run from a “toy cupboard” in the church hall, and Brightwell post office, originally run out of the Red Lion pub, is now in the village hall.
Warborough Parish Council member Will Partridge, 62, said: “Mike runs our post office very efficiently, he puts his heart and soul into it.
“In a village like ours which has an older population, to have a post office which is also a social hub is a godsend.”
It would be open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am to 1pm.
The Post Office is now running a public consultation on the idea until November 12.
Post Office field change advisor Robert Worley said: “We understand how important having a Post Office branch is to residents in Dorchester-on-Thames and we are confident that the hosted outreach service will meet the needs of the local community and secure services for the future.
“The Post Office has made a commitment to no more branch closure programmes.”
- Send views on the latest plan to FREEPOST PO Consultation to Post Office Ltd, email consultation@postoffice. co.uk or call the customer helpline 08457 223344.
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