New chapter is now under way at Melrose's new post office
It's business as usual at Melrose post office after its successful move just 180 metres uptown to Market Square last week.
The town’s new local style service based within Masons of Melrose book store opened its doors last week, almost a year after the last attempt to rehome the service fell through.
The service launched just hours after postmaster of the last 29 years, John Collins, completed his final shift at the Buccleuch Street post office.
He had been hoping to retire and move closer to family near Falkirk for some time – but vowed to wait until the future of the post office was secure before selling his last stamp.
Tracey and David Mason, of Clovenfords, have been welcoming customers to the new post office branch since last Tuesday.
They are offering Post Office products and services from an new open-plan counter running side by side with the existing one. It operates during the store’s usual opening hours, from 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Saturday, providing 51 hours extra availability each week.
“We have had quite a lot to learn and it’s a slow process but people are being positive and mostly patient. I think our customers are pleased that there’s still a post office in Melrose.
“We hope it will bring an increase in footfall for us and bring people into the bookshop that would never normally visit. The location of the bookshop is ideal because it is much easier to find, parking is better and it’s better for tourists.
“It will be convenient and a really successful thing for the town and for us.”
The shop, opened by the couple 10 years ago, already employs one full-time member of staff, and has now taken on another full-time worker and a part-timer.
The back counter has been altered to contain the post office and security gates, and new signs and a portable ramp have been installed to the shop front.
Clive Serplus, Post Office area network change manager said: “As with any other branch, robust security procedures are in place, anyone handling Post Office transactions, including new staff, will be fully trained on all operational and service issues, including customer privacy, to ensure they meet Post Office standards.
“We are making it easier for customers to get their cash, send and collect their mail and do their banking because we know how important these services are to local residents.”
“We are confident that this vibrant new-style Post Office at the heart of the community will meet customer needs.”
Last year plans to relocate the Buccleuch Street post office to Abbey Mill in Annay Road were abandoned at the 11th hour due to community opposition over the 350-metre move.