Filling the gap left when the old post office closed, a new outreach post office has started up in Langton Matravers near Swanage.
Liam Searle, who runs the main post office in Swanage, is providing the service in the café at Putlake Adventure Farm. It’s currently open one morning a week, but if it proves popular that could be extended.
The old post office in the village stores before it closed
Every Tuesday morning
The old post office disappeared with the closure of the village stores when the owners retired in 2021.
The pop-up post office, which is open every Tuesday from 9 am to 12 noon, provides a full range of post office services and has plenty of free parking.
The pop-up post office is in the Putlake Adventure Farm cafe one morning a week
“Close to people’s hearts”
Liam Searle said:
“I didn’t quite know what I was letting myself in for. I thought I would just have to take a laptop, a printer and a mini set of scales.
“In the end it’s a lot of boxes so we can provide all the things people would normally expect from their post office – send parcels, collect their pension, withdraw money or pay bills.
“It’s good to be able to restore a service for the community. A post office is close to people’s hearts and they really miss it when it’s not there. The feedback so far is very encouraging. People are just so grateful to have it back.”
Swanage postmaster Liam Searle
The pub now has a shop
The local pub in Langton Matravers, run by Zoe Wells and Ricky Lucas, has already stepped in to fill the gap left by the closure of the village stores.
The Kings Arms now provides food and other household supplies as part of Trevor’s Pantry delicatessen that recently opened in part of the pub.
The Kings Arms in Langton Matravers
Two more outreach post offices
Postmaster Liam Searle also runs a post office in Weymouth and two other outreach post office services in Corfe Mullen and Winterborne Kingston. He is looking for part time staff to help run the outreach operation.
He is currently busy with building work at the new site for the central post office in Swanage, much of which he is doing himself. The post office will move from King’s Road East to the new location in the old Betfred shop on Institute Road in September 2022.
Location for the new Swanage post office on Institute Road
If all goes to plan, the retail section of the new shop in Swanage should be open at the start of the summer.
“It’s a big old job but we are on track. We are confident we will have the same number of counters, two open, one secure and one combination to cater for the numbers at peak times.”
The old Betfred shop has been gutted to make space for the new post office
Post Office network provision lead, Antoinette Chitty, said they were pleased to have restored a service for Langton Matravers.
“We know how important a post office is to a community and we thank the postmaster for Swanage for providing this service.”
Putlake Adventure Farm