A POPULAR couple in Uppermill are bidding a fond farewell to customers as they retire after nearly two decades behind the counter.
Graham Sheldon, 58, says it has been a “privilege” to run the Post Office on the high street for 16 years while his wife Diane managed The Little Shop newsagents next door for 14 years.
But now, as the Post Office moves this month into The Little Shop as part of an expansion and modernisation, they decided it is time for both of them to call it a day.
Graham, who is moving back to Greenfield with Diane, said: “I want to thank everybody for their friendship and custom over the years. It has been a pleasure and privilege.
“It has been absolutely fantastic working here. I think how lucky I am as it’s not like working in a post office in the town centre where you don’t know anyone who walks in.”
He added: “It will be different not getting up and coming here for 9am each morning. Now I will be outside enjoying a brew instead of behind the counter!
“I am looking forward to travelling more. We have a caravan which has only been to Anglesey for one week this year so we plan to go away more while we can.”
Diane added: “We will miss it but are looking forward to some time for ourselves.
“We’d like to say a big thank you to all our customers, staff and hundreds of paper boys and girls who have supported us over the years.”
Graham will still be working closely with the community as a councillor on Saddleworth Parish Council and Oldham Borough Council.
His last working day at the Post Office will be Thursday, October 13 when the shop is aiming – refurbishment work permitting – to close for the last time.
The following day at 1pm, the new branch next door will open to offer postal and other services such as cash withdrawals, travel money, road tax, and telecoms services during extended hours seven days a week.
Filling Graham’s shoes will be Tony Marlor, who has been running The Cellar Pot café beneath The Little Shop since March 2015.
Graham added: “We are transferring across the stock and we’ve asked for the same services to be available and we’ve got most of them.
“However, we’re not able to offer passport services for now and I’m quite annoyed about that.
“The Post Office is looking at that and will come to a decision, but Tony can always reapply for services in the future.”
Uppermill Post Office will be open at The Little Shop, 50-52 High Street, Uppermill, Saddleworth from Friday, October 14 on Monday to Friday 7.30am-5.30pm and Saturday and Sunday from 9am-4pm.