Local spirit wins as post office opens
Community spirit triumphed at the weekend as a Norfolk village bucked the trend and reopened its post office.The general store and post office at Methwold, near Thetford, closed at the beginning of the year after its postmistress decided to retire.
Community spirit triumphed at the weekend as a Norfolk village bucked the trend and reopened its post office.
The general store and post office at Methwold closed at the beginning of the year after its postmistress decided to retire.
But the south west Norfolk village rallied to keep a post office in the village, raising £9,000 in three weeks needed to open the facility in the village hall.
On Saturday the community celebrated as the post office was opened at St George's Hall.
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The Methwold Community Project Group praised the contribution of residents, businesses and support from local councils in getting the four day a week facility up and running.
Rosina Stone, from the project group, also praised the efforts of Bryan Merrick, Brian Nixon, Phil Barnes and Colin Neville who put in many hours of hard work to ensure the project got off the ground. Mrs Stone said that efforts would now be focused on getting the village store reopened.
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Peter Smith, development officer for Norfolk Rural Community Council, said: “The whole village has pulled together and this is a real achievement for the people of Methwold.” He said he now hopes to encourage other communities to follow Methwold's example.
Robin Hood, chairman of Methwold Parish Council, said: “I am very pleased that the community, together with the parish council, the borough council and the county council have come together to make this happen. It is very nice to see a community project like this come to fruition. It will benefit the whole community.”
He said the village hall is an important community venue. A doctor from Feltwell holds surgeries in the building and prescriptions are dispensed there.
South West Norfolk MP Christopher Fraser attended the opening and handed over the keys to sub postmistress Carol Hillier.
He said: “I would like to offer my congratulations to the whole community in Methwold, which has worked so very hard to achieve this fantastic result. Rural communities all over Britain are suffering from an erosion of vital services and amenities. I hope that Methwold serves as inspiration for other villages and towns in similar positions.”