1 July 2013

Seeing red – save our post offices!!

My local post office near the Nags Head junction of Holloway Road is always busy. Especially so in the run up to Christmas.
A queue of about 20 people usually snakes up and down the central area of the shop and there is always another queue at the secondary counter for parcels, stamps, lottery tickets etc. I think I can count on one hand the number of times I have walked in there in the past 25 years and been able to go straight to a counter.
So, how come this branch is threatened with closure? And why is this happening to other branches all over London, indeed the UK? In this area alone we have lost three sub Post offices in as many years.
Perhaps Post Office's are not handling so much mail these days? Royal Mail's recent price hikes may have something to do with it as a lot of customers, like me, are sending parcels via other (cheaper) independent couriers. 
Or perhaps the RM bosses think that TV licensing, tax discs, utility bills etc can all be done over the internet? But this is not fair on all those people who do not like to pay their bills etc on line. Many things are still better achieved in person.
There is a plan to locate the Post Office facilities within a "retail partner". This effectively means a small supermarket with a post office within it.
Er... two things...
1. How will there be room for shelves of food etc when the shop will be full of people queueing for postal service?
2. Holloway does not need another supermarket or grocers – the immediate area already boasts Waitrose, Morrisons, Iceland, M&S, a couple of large pound stores and lots of mini markets, with small Tesco, Budgen and Sainsbury stores close by.
This news is, quite frankly (frankly!!) appalling.
Specifically, save Holloway Crown Post Office – sign the petition – do something!!
Three of the images here feature hexagonal shaped Victorian "Penfold' pillar boxes with acanthus leaves on the top. Dating from a brief period (1866–1879) there are only a few of these left jotted around London. I have so far seen and photographed nine, although I do know of others.

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Thanks, Jane