Post Offices are seen as essential contributors to the vitality of a community.
Many sub-post offices have closed in recent years and now, resigned customers agree although they cannot be re-opened, it is better to have limited access to services than no service at all.
Signifcant changes are being made to Post Office services in four Sussex villages.
In Mayfield the popular village High Street Post Office closed suddenly, leaving villagers concerned and bewildered.
Writing in the Mayfield Newsletter, sub postmaster Paul Money said: “It is with great regret that, due to irreconcilable differences with my partner I made the sad decision to resign from my position as Postmaster of Mayfield Post Office.
“This decision was not taken lightly, not least because I have so much support from many Mayfield residents and I did not want to let them down. But despite taking legal and professional advice and putting forward a proposition in an attempt to resolve the situation, this proposal was turned down out of hand and no viable or acceptable alternatives were given in response.”
Meanwhile, Mayfield Scouts are lending their community minibus to enable Paul to provide free transport to and from Heathfield Post Office on Thursdays with enough time for shopping.
The bus leaves the Middle House bus stop at 10am, picking up at Five Ashes Village Hall at 10.05am. It returns from Heathfield Post Office at 11.30am. It will leave again from Middle House at 12.30pm, plus pick up at Five Ashes at 12.35pm then return from Heathfield Post Office at 2pm. Dates booked so far at November 14, 21 and 28.
Mayfield Parish Council chairman Jerry Watkiss said: “This is a very useful but potentially short-term solution. In the meantime the Post Office is seeking applications from people who would like to run the service in the village. We anticipate this will not be resolved until February or March next year at the latest.”
In the meantime, Sue Gothard, sub postmistress of Ridgewood Post Office has come to the rescue of three village post offices. Branches of Nutley, (closed May 2007,) Isfield (closed December 2008) and High Hurstwood (due to close this month) will be run as outreach services.
There will be a service for Nutley residents at the Nutley Arms, Fords Green, Nutley, on Tuesdays from 10am-noon; Isfield at Holly Gap Farm Shop, Station Road on Thursdays from 10am-noon and High Hurstwood at the village hall, Chillies Lane on Tuesdays from 2pm-4pm.