Post office opening bucks trend

THE worrying national trend of rural post offices closures has been reversed in an Essex village.Residents in Langham, near Colchester, have been buoyed by the news that the Post Office is to re-open a branch there more than two years after its last one closed seemingly for good.

THE worrying national trend of rural post offices closures has been reversed in an Essex village.

Residents in Langham, near Colchester, have been buoyed by the news that the Post Office is to re-open a branch there more than two years after its last one closed seemingly for good.

The move is being seen as radical, with the new branch not being housed in a typical village shop, but in a giant steel container.

The announcement by Post Office Ltd that the doors will re-open on September 30 marks the end of a two-year struggle for residents.


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When the subpostmaster of the previous branch in Moor Road resigned in June 2002, the outlet was forced to close.

But angry villagers clubbed together to form a committee guiding through their cherished plan for a new type of community shop that would be run by themselves.

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They fought bureaucracy and apathy managing to raise £36,000 through a variety of means including grants.

With conventional bricks and mortar premises not available, committee members decided to site the shop in a steel container, which will be placed in the car park at Langham Village Hall.

The first construction groundwork for the shop is due to begin tomorrow with the container itself being hoisted into position by crane on September 2.

Post Office security regulations mean that the safe will have to be fixed into the ground by concrete, but managers for the organisation are now happy that standards will be met.

The new branch will open from 9am to 1pm Monday to Saturday, except Wednesdays when it will remain closed.

It will offer the same services as before including a hearing loop, a low-level writing desk and meets disability access requirements.

A spokesman for Post Office Ltd said yesterday: "We are absolutely delighted that all our hard work has paid off and that our loyal customers in Langham will again have a Post Office of their own."

Gill Flack, one of the village's steering committee members, praised the Post Office for being "straightforward" in their dealings.

"We've had so much to battle through with red tape in other organisations, we're just extremely relieved and happy it seems to be all coming together and we're getting all our services back," she added.

The community shop is due to be opened at a grand ceremony on September 24 with the post office following six days later.

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