Residents raise a glass to pub’s new pop-up post office

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Resident Fay Bratcher (left) with Michela Horner and Happy Cheese assistant manager Harriet Frampton

AN Ashurst pub is the new venue for a twice weekly pop-up post office launched following the closure of the village’s former branch in January.

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The outreach service, run by staff from Bartley Post Office three miles away, will operate from The Happy Cheese every Tuesday and Thursday between 11am and 2pm.

Michela Horner, whose mother Johanna Hole has been postmaster at Bartley for nearly 30 years, will run the counter.

“I live in Ashurst so I really understand how urgently some people need access to a post office service,” she said.

“We opened for the first time on Tuesday and the reaction was very positive – we had a lot of grateful people.

“I had one elderly lady who came in and was very upset about a financial matter she needed to sort out. She was unable to travel to an alternative post office, so being able to help her made it all seem very worthwhile.”

Until the launch of the new post office, Ashurst residents were being forced to travel around three miles to the nearest facility in Bartley or Totton.

Michela said: “There is no bus service between Ashurst and Bartley, and for older people it is simply too far to walk.

“This new pop-up service really will be a lifeline as post offices seem to be a bit of a dying breed.”

Customers will have access to the same service as those who use Bartley post office, including postal services and stamp purchases, bill payments, mobile phone top-ups, cheque and cash deposits into bank accounts, cash withdrawal and postal orders.

They will also be able to buy euros and dollars and order in other currency from around the world.

Michela added: “It really seems like a win-win situation for everyone – the Happy Cheese does wonderful food as well as coffee and cakes – so hopefully some of our customers will also stop for something to eat or drink whilst they are visiting.”

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