Urgent appeal for new Postmaster as Currie Post Office risks closure

The current Postmistress is retiring after 30 years.

Monday, 9th December 2019, 1:54 pm
Updated Monday, 9th December 2019, 1:58 pm

An urgent appeal has been launched for a new home for Currie Post Office, as the current postmistress is retiring after over 30 years.

Margaret Marshall, who has run a post office counter at her card and gift shop business on Lanark Road West for three decades, is now faced with ‘no choice’ but to retire.

The Post Office has been advertising for a new local business to take over the Post Office counter for the past four years, but there have so far been no takers.

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Currie Post Office.

“If nobody steps in to take over, the local community will be without a post office,” said Ms Marshall.

“It will be a huge loss for the community.”

If Currie Post Office closes, locals will be forced to travel to Balerno, or to Colinton or Wester Hailes.

This will have a particular adverse effect on locals who use the Post Office banking facilities, said Ms Marshall.

“Many people use us like an ATM, to take out money,” she said.

“Without us there are no banks in the local area, the closest would be Wester Hailes or the Gyle.

“And there aren’t any buses to the Gyle any more, they’ve all been cut.”

The loss of the post office would affect many older people and those who do not use many online services, said Ms Marshall.

“But it’s not just older people, it’s also young people returning packages they have bought online,” she said.

“Really it would affect the whole community, everyone of every age.”

Ms Marshall has found her time as a postmistress ‘incredibly rewarding’, and encourages local business owners to apply to host a post office counter.

“It’s been incredibly rewarding and very social too,” she said.

“You get to see everyone regularly, and they get to see each other too.”

Currie Post Office currently offers services including vehicle tax, foreign currency exchange, travel insurance, National Express tickets, Current Account servicing and savings application forms.

The nearest Post Office branches are in Balerno, Colinton, Wester Hailes and Calder Crossway.

It comes after a UK-wide survey by the National Federation of Subpostmasters in April found that nearly a quarter of those who run a Sub Post Office were planning to close, downsize or hand over their business in the next year.

The biggest concerns of Subpostmasters and Subpostmistresses were falling incomes and increased expenses, due in past to more customers using Royal Mail services directly, higher staff costs, and low transaction rates for banking services.