Northumberland village says goodbye to post office

A ceremony was held to mark the closure of Belford's post-office building.
A ceremony was held to mark the closure of Belford's post-office building.

A small ceremony was held today as residents of a north Northumberland village marked the closure of their post-office building after 100 years.

Next Tuesday, Belford’s post-office building will close as the service has moved into the Co-op on West Street.

The postal service began in Belford in the 17th century. Since then it has seen postboys on horseback, mail coaches, push-bikes, post vans and those who delivered the mail on foot.

The Church Street building opened as a post office in 1893, when there were nine postmen delivering mail each day, and has changed little since then in many ways.

A large cake, made by Margaret Smith and featuring the forms of a post boy, a mail coach and a post van, was provided to mark of the end of an era for this building. It was cut by postmaster Peter Lawrie, who has served the community for 23 years.

The move is part of a major modernisation programme across the Post Office network designed to make it easier for customers to do business.

Suzanne Richardson, Post Office regional manager for north England, said: “We understand how important having a Post Office is to residents in Belford and we are confident that this new modern Post Office service will meet the needs of the community and secure services for the future.

“This modernisation is part of a major investment programme, the largest in the history of the Post Office and marks a commitment to no more branch-closure programmes.”

Customers will benefit from increased opening hours with the new branch due to be open from 7am to 10pm, Monday to Sunday.