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Something to write home about.

Byline: Naomi Paylor

Delighted villagers are to have their own post office once again.

For almost two years, residents of Longnewton have struggled to cope without a post office.

The former post office in Grasscroft closed in July 2002 when the sub-postmaster resigned.

Weeks later, many were left stranded after a bus service into Stockton was cancelled.

Since then, members of the local community have been working with the Post Office in a bid to reinstate the facility.

Their calls have been answered, and on June 14, local mum Julie Plumb will take over as the new sub-postmaster.

She will work at the village hall - the Wilson Institute - from 9am to 1pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Mrs Plumb, who lives in the village with her husband, Simon, and their three children, is looking forward to her new position.

The 33-year-old said: "The job was advertised in a school news letter and the parish news.

"I haven't worked for ten years and this opportunity came just at the right time for me.

"I moved to the village just as the old post office was closing but I know people have struggled to cope without one.

"I've been on a training course and it's been hard work with a lot of organising to set it up, but it will be good for people in the village to have a post office again."

Villager John Rosser is among those who have been pushing for the new facility.

"For the last 12 months, we have been working with the post office for a replacement," he said.

"It has been a long process and it has been difficult for many people, because it closed down at the same time as we lost our bus service.

"We are very pleased it is reopening, as the post office is a valuable asset to any village."

Residents of Heighington, near Newton Aycliffe, will also have a new post office after managing without since July last year.

The new facility will open on June 17 in a room in Heighington Village Hall.

It will be open from 9am to 1pm, Monday to Friday.

Rural transfer adviser at the Post Office, Joanne Redpath, said: "I'm sure that like me, local residents will welcome the reopening of a post office and will support the sub- postmasters in their new ventures."
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Title Annotation:News Local
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Jun 7, 2004
Words:390
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