Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Village postmistress says farewell

A POSTMISTRESS has bid farewell to Nettlebed after serving the village for more than

A POSTMISTRESS has bid farewell to Nettlebed after serving the village for more than three years.

Mel Bullock stepped down last month and was presented with flowers, a card and about £250 in cash and John Lewis vouchers at a leaving party held at the Field Kitchen Café in the village. The card was signed by about 60 residents.

Nettlebed post office has now moved from the church hall in High Street to the BP petrol station in  Port Hill.

Mrs Bullock, 56, who lives in High Wycombe, said: “I wasn’t expecting that many people at the farewell party and it just goes to show how many you support and what a post office like that means to a smaller village.

“To get everybody together like that was amazing really. When you take on a business like that it can go horribly wrong or take off and thankfully people were really brilliant and were so supportive from day one. Christmas did become a little bit manic but people were very patient and understanding.”

Mrs Bullock said she was going to take a break before deciding whether to continue working for the Post Office.

She thanked everyone who had supported her, saying: “I’m pleased there’s still a post office facility in the village what with the uncertainty over so many in the area.”

Barbara Lewis, chairwoman of Nettlebed Parish Council, said she was very sad to see Mrs Bullock leave.

“I was very grateful to her as chairwoman of the parish council because we have had a lot of negotiation with the Post Office and Oxfordshire County Council highways to make sure the access is safe,” she said.

“She wanted to stay but it wasn’t financially viable for her to do so once the subsidy had been cut so we worked together and that really was a huge help.

“She’s a very calm and sensible lady, and absolutely charming, and she gave a lot to the village.

“In my farewell speech I was keen to let everyone know how grateful we, as a parish council, are to Mel as she has been so supportive and worked alongside us to facilitate the move of the post office.”

The branch closed on February 16 with the new one opening the following day in the Spar shop, which is open every day from 6am to 10pm, more than double the previous hours.

A marked pedestrian walkway will be provided from the pavement to the shop entrance and two of the eight marked parking bays on the garage forecourt will be designated for disabled customers.

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