PAUL Borg is not one for fuss but a nationwide awards initiative could end with a trip to the House of Lords.
That is the ultimate destination for finalists in the Countryside Alliance Awards known affectionately as the ‘rural Oscars’.
Paul and Janet Waite run Diggle Post Office and are one of four North West finalists in the village shop/post office category.
The regional winners will be announced in May followed by a national grand final on a date to be confirmed in June.
“It was quite surprising when I heard we’d originally been nominated,” Paul told the Independent.
“A few of the customers said they’d seen it on social media which isn’t really something I’ve bothered with.
“I am quite happy to stay out of the spotlight,” he laughed.
“The only other thing I’ve ‘won’ was a presentation from the Post Office to mark 10 years of service.”
Modest Paul also hinted he might not even travel south if the chance came.
“That would mean I’d have to close the shop for a day and I don’t want unhappy customers,” he added.
In his category, Paul, who took over the Huddersfield Road business more than 12 years ago, is up against double opposition from Cumbria plus Sutton General Store and Post Office, Macclesfield, Cheshire.
The CA Awards are now in their 13th year and more than 17,000 nominations were received for the current competition.
They are an annual celebration of rural produce, skills, enterprise and heritage.
The remaining categories are: local food and drink, butcher, rural enterprise and pub.
Countryside Alliance Awards Director Sarah Lee said: “We received a record breaking nominations this year showing just how much the public values and supports our hard-working rural businesses.
“All of the finalists should be really proud to have progressed this far as it shows just how valued they are in their rural communities.
“The Countryside Alliance is honoured to offer a voice to rural business in this way and recognise all the hard work that is done.
“I look forward to getting out and visiting these fantastic businesses as judging gets underway.”