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Couple put stamp on new business

PUBLISHED: 14:39 19 February 2009 | UPDATED: 13:04 03 July 2010

NOT so long ago it was a place to pick up stamps and deliver parcels, but now people pop in for a massage or facial.

The old post office in Great Yarmouth's Beresford Road has been given a new lease of life as a health and beauty clinic.

NOT so long ago it was a place to pick up stamps and deliver parcels, but now people pop in for a massage or facial.

The old post office in Great Yarmouth's Beresford Road has been given a new lease of life as a health and beauty clinic.

Former postmistress Barbara Ebanks was determined to make up for the loss of the branch, which was axed in Royal Mail's controversial closure programme last August.

The solution came through the chiropody practice next door to the post office which Barbara has run with husband Gordon for the last eight years.

Business adviser George Green suggested she expand the chiropody practice to include other health and beauty services.

“You cannot imagine our disappointment when it was announced that we were among 3,000 branches that had to close,” said Barbara. “We were left with half the retail space that needed to be refitted and the money to do this still had to be found.”

“When the post office shut I was heartbroken. I thought I could run the branch for life, but feel happy now that I have put that ordeal behind me. At least I am in control now, there is no big brother pulling the strings.”

Feet First opened at the end of last year with two new treatment rooms and a refurbished reception area.

Chiropodist Gordon and medical foot practitioner Barbara have been joined by a holistic therapist, acupuncturist, beautician and sports therapist. Barbara, who manages the clinic, had the task of finding practitioners to join the business.

Later this year son Edward, who is studying podiatry at Birmingham University, will join them.

Barbara said: “I must have made about 200 phone calls although I found our acupuncturist Alexis through her mum who I was treating.

“Everybody deserves a little bit of relaxation and pampering. People say they feel on top of the world when they come out of here.”

After the post office closed Norfolk County Council provided £1,000 for Barbara to receive advice from Business Link.

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