Above: Steve Jack and Tina Clune
Aysgarth’s new Post Office is now open and will provide a service for mid Wensleydale following the closure of that at Thoralby. It is in the Convenience Store at Aysgarth Garage and will be open from 9am to 1pm Monday to Saturday.
Steve Jack took over the shop and the garage in 2008 and ensured that the store remained open every day throughout the Covid pandemic.
In March, when he sought the support of Aysgarth and District Parish Council for a Post Office at the garage, the councillors pointed out that, with the closure of that in Thoralby, residents in such villages as West Burton, Thoralby, Aysgarth and Carperby often had to travel 12 miles to Hawes or Leyburn for Post Offices.
‘A lot of people from Thoralby were worried about losing the Post Office there. I thought it would be a good addition to the village and for the shop’, Steve said when the new Post Office opened on Friday morning (September 23). He emphasised that he would be flexible about closing if there was a queue.
During the first week he is being trained by Post Office trainer Tina Clune. He is advertising for someone to take on the Post Office work for 25 hours a week. And he is looking for another assistant for the shop.
The Post Office stated: ‘As part of an exciting modernisation and investment programme taking place across the Post Office network, a brand-new Post Office for Aysgarth has opened.The Post Office said the new facility [with ample car parking] will provide customers with 24 hours of Post Office services a week making it convenient for them to visit [and there is a car park]. The Post Office services are offered from a low-screened, open-plan Post Office counter that is integrated into the retail area.
It added: ‘This new Aysgarth branch offers customers a wide range of Post Office services, from posting letters and parcels to collecting and returning online shopping items. Customers can also take advantage of a wide range of banking services including cash withdrawals and balance enquiries for customers of all the main UK banks.’
Ian Murphy, Post Office Network Provision Lead, said: ‘We want to make it as easy as possible for customers to pay their bills, withdraw cash from their bank accounts, and send and collect their mail at a time and place that suits them best. We know how important our services are to customers, and we are confident that this brand-new Post Office will ensure that people in the Aysgarth area have easy access to our services.’
Below: Steve and Tina at the open-plan counter.