A POPULAR post office has relocated and found a new home inside a busy convenience store.
Steven and Catherine Bindon, owners of Steve’s Shop in Manor Road, Charfield have taken on the responsibility of running a post office counter in their shop after the local long-standing postmaster retired.
Their predecessor was John O’Neill, a South Gloucestershire ward councillor for Charfield, ran the former post office on Wotton road for 20 years.
He closed its doors on February 28 and Mr and Mrs Bindon installed a post office counter in Steve’s Shop, which is celebrating 26 years in business this year, that weekend.
The post office counter opened on Monday, March 3.
Speaking to the Gazette Mrs Bindon said: “The post office is going through a huge period of change. We wanted to make it more accessible for people. The old post office was open from 9am to 5pm but this is not the way forward. The post office is now going to be open for longer hours. It will operate the same hours as Steve’s Shop which opens from 6am to 9pm seven days a week.”
Mrs Bindon said she was settling into the role as postmistress, but it was taking some getting used to.
“It’s been what they call a baptism of fire. This first week has been tough. As we are finding out feet things are calming down. It’s been a massive learning curve,” she said.
Mrs Bindon said the idea for locating the post office in Steve’s Shop was the brainchild of local residents.
She said: “People asked us ‘have you ever thought of having a post office in here?’. There was the possibility that we were going to lose the post office altogether and that people would have to drive to Wotton to send letters. We felt very strongly that we wanted to keep it here.”
The post office counter at Steve’s Shops means that people will not have to travel outside of Charfield to run simple postal errands.
“People will be able to do 90 per cent of the things they did when John had the post office,” said Catherine.
Mr Bindon added: “We’ve been a lot busier. It’s going to take some time to get used to but we’ll get there in the end.”
Mr O'Neill said he wished the Bindons every success in their new adventure.
"They know where I am if they need me. It's a lot to take in and a huge adjustment but they will settle into the job soon enough," he said.
Services that are provided include bill payments, first and second class mail, special delivery, stamps and currency exchange. Car tax can also be paid in cash, by cheque or debit card at the counter.