Hatley St George Postmistress marks 30 year milestone

Popular postmistress Sylvia Marshall celebrated her birthday and reached her 30 years’ milestone at the helm of Hatley St George Post Office and village shop.

Sylvia remembers getting the keys to the shop on her birthday in May 1994. Sylvia and her husband Michael already lived in the street. She recalls how they used a wheelbarrow to move their belongings the short distance to the shop and their new home.

The small, pretty, village near Sandy, on the Bedfordshire/Cambridgeshire border, has just a population of 70 houses and it is blessed to a Post Office and convenience store. It also serves surrounding communities.

Postmistress, Sylvia Smith, said: “The best thing about running a Post Office and shop are the people that you meet. When I started here most of my customers were farm workers who worked for the nearby farms, but today customers have a wide variety of occupations.

“This is a lovely village to live and work in, surrounded by countryside. As Michael and I already lived in Hatley St George we already knew many people in this small village, but, serving people for the past three decades I have really got to know people well. People that I knew as children have grown up and now have children of their own.

“We managed to stay open throughout the pandemic and people were grateful that they could stay local for the Post Office and groceries. We even had no shortage of toilet rolls!

We were busier than normal as people wanted to send parcels to people that they could not see, home shopping returns and sending eBay parcels. We are still very busy with parcels and banking as so many bank branches have closed. We are now the bank as people can come here to do their personal and business banking and cash withdrawals.

A Post Office 30 Years’ Long Service Award has been presented to Sylvia in appreciation of her important role in the community.

Post Office Area Manager, Caroline Whitham-Grange, said: “I want to sincerely thank Sylvia for serving Hatley St George Post Office customers for three decades. The Post Office and shop are a lifeline for this community with all the essential Post Office services that it provides including banking and mails and home shopping returns and the wide retail range in the store. Sylvia truly is at the heart of her community.

Husband, Michael, had a separate job until he retired. He now does the shop’s milk and food deliveries.