Oldest post office may be saved

A COMMUNITY post office dating back to the 1800s and believed to be the oldest in the county before its closure now looks set to reopen.

A COMMUNITY post office dating back to the 1800s and believed to be the oldest in the county before its closure now looks set to reopen.

St Mary's Church in Haughley, near Stowmarket, wants to open the old branch near the green, which closed after postmistress Maureen Edwards retired.

Worshippers have applied to Mid Suffolk District Council, and they are also seeking funds to bring the post office up to modern standards before it can open for business again.

The move comes after it was revealed earlier in the year that 63-year-old lawyer Maxwell Charnley had left church council leaders £500,000 to invest in Haughley.


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Mr Charnley, of Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, grew up in the village and had left a total of about £1.5million to his favourite causes.

Howard Stephens, treasurer for the parochial church council at St Mary's, said: “Haughley Parochial Church Council stepped into purchase the former post office building.

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“Even though it has been used as a post office for something like 165 years the post office has decreed that since it has closed and was now to re-open, it would have to conform to modern Post Office standards. Unfortunately the wheels are moving very slowly, but progress is being made.”

John Prigg, 81, a parish councillor for 35 years before he stepped down recently, said: “This would benefit the whole community. I think it is extremely important to get it back.

“The majority of villagers will be better off, and it is a great meeting place for people. Part of the building will be a community room under the plans, so group organisations can meet there, which will be a great benefit.

“We had people coming from Wetherden after their branch closed, hopefully they will return. This is not just about bringing people to the post office, but villagers coming here will also shop at the bakers and the Co-op and other traders will benefit. This will benefit everyone, all round.”

Two applicants are believed to have come forward to run the post office.

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