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NEW POSTMASTER AND A NEW-LOOK FOR THE WORLD’S OLDEST POST OFFICE

Press Release   •   Jul 14, 2015 17:08 BST

  • Dr Manzoor Alam becomes 16th Sanquhar Postmaster
  • Unique place in postal heritage
  • Oldest post office in continuous service since 1712
  • 2000th ‘local’ Post Office
  • Post Office open: Mon - Sat 9am – 5:30pm
  • Convenient, quick service, open plan till

The world’s oldest post office in Sanquhar, Dumfries and Galloway, reopens today with a new owner, and a new operating model.

Keen philatelist and postal historian Dr ManzoorAlam takes his place in the roll-call of postal history as only the 16th postmaster to run the branch since it first opened in 1712.

It is the 2000th branch to become a Post Office Local as part of a major investment programme, the largest in the history of the Post Office, and will meet the needs of the local community and secure services for the future.

The Post Office has invested in improvements to the branch with changes to the retail area, so Post Office products and services will available from an open plan till at the retail counter.

Anne Clark, Area Manager for Scotland and the North of England, said: “We are delighted that Sanquhar Post Office is continuing to operate at the heart of the local community. The branch combines a rich postal history with today’s wide range of post office services, and we are delighted that Dr Alam is opening today as the new postmaster.”

Dr Alam said: “I am very pleased to be appointed the new postmaster of Sanquhar Post Office and proud to be preserving the heritage of this post office, which has been here for more than 300 years.

“The post office provides vital products and services to the residents of Sanquhar, and is also a key part of Scotland’s postal history. My ambition is to promote the rich heritage of the past by establishing a postal museum – the only one in Scotland – and combining it with a modern business, securing this wonderful post office for future generations. I also have plans to set up a philatelic society in Sanquhar.”

The origins of Sanquhar Post Office date back to 1712. It is recognised by the Universal Postal Union, the governing body for postal administrations around the globe, and the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest post office in the World, easily beating its closest rivals in Stockholm, Sweden, and the Chilean capital of Santiago, which date back to 1720 and 1772, respectively.

The building started out as a staging post for mail carriages, owned by Abraham Crichton, with the old stables behind the branch thought to have once provided a resting place for horses drawing the mail carriages.

Ends

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Notes to editors

In 2012 we announced an investment of £1.34bn for the Post Office network to undertake a transformation programme across 6000 branches. In November 2013 the Government announced a further £640m investment in the Post Office network: as well as allowing us to modernise a further 2000 branches this funding also allows us to invest £20 million in around 3400 community branches, which are often the last shop in the village.

With over 11,500 branches, the Post Office network is the biggest retail network in the UK, with more branches than all the banks and building societies combined.

97% of Post Office branches are run with retail partners on an agency or franchise basis

The Post Office provides services central to peoples’ everyday lives; 99.7% of the population lives within 3 miles of a Post Office - 17m customers visit a Post Office branch each week, including a third of the UK’s small businesses

We offer the UK’s largest fee free cash withdrawal network through our 11,500 branches and an additional 2,500 cash machines and 99 per cent of UK bank customers can access their accounts at the Post Office.

We sell 170 different products and services spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards; Government services; telephony; foreign currency; travel insurance and mail services.

Post Offices branches remain highly valued and trusted, and are the focal point of many communities. For more information, visit www.postoffice.co.uk and to find out about a Post Office business opportunities visit www.runapostoffice.co.uk