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The final days of post offices

PUBLISHED: 18:26 31 July 2008 | UPDATED: 11:30 03 July 2010

THE knock-on impact of the Post Office's cull is already being felt as eight of the area's branches prepare to close for good next week.

For some it marks the end of hard-fought campaigns to save life-line branches that have been at the heart of the community for decades.

THE knock-on impact of the Post Office's cull is already being felt as eight of the area's branches prepare to close for good next week.

For some it marks the end of hard-fought campaigns to save life-line branches that have been at the heart of the community for decades. For others it means not only the end of the village post office but also the shop it helped to prop up.

In Stokesby, Rick and Yvonne Sargeant are facing a double dose of disaster with the closure of the post office on Wednesday and the shop on Saturday.

After 20 years of 5am starts seven days a week Mr Sargeant, 68, of Bungalow Stores said it was probably the nudge he needed to move him into retirement.

“Without the post office the shop is just not viable on its own,” he said.

“We have been running the shop down for a couple of weeks and it's looking pretty empty now. The post office did not bring in a lot of revenue, but enough to make all the difference.

“We have become friends with regular customers over the years and they are sad they won't be able to pop in for a chat.”

In Southtown, Lichfield Road Post Office will close on Tuesday, but sub-postmaster Shah Haque said people had already changed their shopping habits following the devastating closure announcement in June.

Mr Haque said: “Naturally I'm very sad and for the community as well.”

The shop will stay open but Mr Haque told the Mercury he has had sleepless nights worrying about how he will make ends meet.

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