New postmaster calls on village to help secure its future

Takeover: Umesh Ahir took over the Post Office this week.
Takeover: Umesh Ahir took over the Post Office this week.

A new postmaster at a village shop is calling on residents to make use of the Post Office to help secure its long-term future.

Umesh Ahir took the keys to Sandal Post Office on Tuesday and sent out a rallying call to customers.

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Over the years many villages have lost their local service because they were no longer cost effective.

But Mr Ahir hopes that the locals will help keep the service running.

He said: “I know it was up for sale for quite a few years and was close to closing down, but it’s vital to a lot of local people who would have been upset if it did close.

“We just thought it was a perfect opportunity because it’s a real hub for the community.

“It’s been brilliant, it’s been a lot of hard work the customers have been coming in and are over the moon that it is staying open.

“A lot of Post Offices up and down the country have shut because their local communities are not utilising them.

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“The message we want to get out there is ‘come in and use us’, it’s like any business, if it doesn’t get used it could close.”

Kathryn Bramley recently stepped down as Sandal’s sub-postmistress after 17 years.

Although Mr Umesh trained as a science teacher, he grew up helping his parents running the newsagents on the Portobello estate, which they still run today.

Although he bought the Barnsley Road building, he still had to undergo an interview process with the Post Office before taking the reins.

And the 39-year-old wants to debunk the myth that the Post Offices are only used for sending parcels or buying stamps.

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He said: “A lot of people don’t realise they can do their everyday banking here (regardless of which bank they are with).

“Banks branches are shutting down but they people can do their banking here, and it saves them from going into town and we’re just around the corner.”