Thursday, May 15, 2008

Post Office Consultation over.

Its not officially over until Monday, but its over for me - the consultation period on the proposed cutbacks that Post Office Ltd intend to make to our post office network. Last night, I joined most of the population of Castle Caereinion in a last ditch appeal to save their local Post Office. It will always be special for me, because it was the first shop I entered as a toddler, and for many years the only shop I entered. I used to pick up the (right wing) Daily Express every day for my parents (I attended the local primary school), and often blew my weekly spend on a Mars bar. The current Sub Post Master is Michael Rogers, an institution in the village. I remember his mum, Mrs Rogers (at whose funeral I offered the tribute a few years ago) who died aged 94. I also remember Mr Bert Rogers, Michael's dad who died many decades ago.

And tonight, I chaired a similar meeting in Berriew, where representatives of Post Office Ltd were outlining plans to close the local Sub Post Office to a full community hall. Fortunately, Mr and Mrs Paul Lombard, who run the local Spar, have declared their desire to enter into a 'partnership' with a larger nearby Post Office. So we finished up with a unanimous opinion. We want to retain a Sub Post Office in Berriew, but if Post Office Ltd are intent on closing our local Post Office, we prefer a 'partnership' arrangement to a mobile van or a 'hosted' site. It really was a terrific community meeting.

I've been to so many of these meetings over the last few weeks that I'm going to miss my regular contact with Pauline, Heulyn and Non from Post Office Ltd, Richard and Lowri from Post Watch, and the excellent Keith Richard from the Federation of Sub Post Masters. These people have been at the front line, taking the flak on behalf of a Government who see the Post Office as a business, and not in any way a 'social network'. I do hope that all the effort will not have been in vain.


Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Glyn, your reminiscing of your Welsh childhood brought back my memories. One of my fondest memories was each Saturday sitting on a wall with other kids waiting what seemed like an interminable time and then in a quick jump and burst of speed scooping up coins to spend at a sweet shop across the street. It started with a walk from Templeton Close in Llanishen not to see a “lady in red” but to see a lady in white exit a big black shiny car and walk to a building (the church at the junction of Station Road and Heol Hir in Llanishen), then a long wait until me or another kid would shout out – they’re coming (meaning they are leaving the church) and then a scrabble for the coins as they were thrown on the path – looking back I guess the Vicar mentioned to the attendees that they should have coins at the ready as there would likely be a bunch of ravenous kids off the local estate wanting their sweet money. We would rush across the street to the sweet shop and spend our collected coinage on sweets sundry!

Glyn Davies said...

Now that's a tradition that I do not remember in Montgomeryshire. Throwing money upon the ground is not something I've ever seen a hill sheep farmer do.