CUSTOMERS are celebrating the reopening of a Post Office which has been closed for two months.
There’s been a big welcome for the two people who are now running the Hurst branch, splitting the times between them.
Coincidentally, both lost their previous jobs due to Covid-19 shutting down so much of the travel industry.
The Post Office closed in August following the sudden death of its much-loved manager Debbie Kaur.
The new counter assistant is Pam Buckett of Woodley who worked for 13-and-a-half years at Henley Post Office before moving to work fora travel money company.
“I was furloughed in March and made redundant in August,” she said.
“It’s the first time I’ve been out of work since I was 15. I couldn’t wait to get back into work.
“It’s nice to be back, to see people and talk to them. Everybody has been really nice.
“I didn’t know the previous postmistress, but I know she was very well-liked. It was obviously a big shock for everyone.
“I’m glad to see the Post Office open here again.
“It’s the hub of the community.”
Mrs Buckett, who is married to Glenn, has two daughters Natalie, 36, and Nicole, 32, and a 20-month-old grandson Oscar.
Gaurav Vats of Shinfield had been working for 14 years for a travel company in London as operations manager when he was made redundant.
“There were no travel jobs available at all,” he said.
However, he says his experience of operations and customer service will stand him in good stead for his new position as Hurst Post Office manager.
“I’ve been made very welcome here,” he said, adding: “I have big shoes to fill after Debbie, I’ve been reading about what people thought of her.”
Mr Vats, who is married to Manisha has a three-year-old daughter Hazel.
Hurst Village Society has used its latest newsletter to welcome Mrs Buckett and Mr Vats to the village. Customers travel some distance to Hurst, partly due to closure of other branches.
The Post Office hours are the same as they were before: 9am to noon and 12.30to 5.30pm on Monday to Friday; and 9am to 12.30pm on Saturday.
It is part of the Central Convenience Stores in The Street Hurst. The shop’s hours are 6.30am to 9pm, Monday to Saturday; and 6.30am to 8pm, on Sunday.