Newdigate Postmaster marks 30 years milestone

Postmaster, Robert Bettesworth, better known as Bob, has reached his 30 years’ milestone at Newdigate Post Office, which moved to his village shop in May 1994.


Newdigate Post Office had been across the road, until Bob took over the branch and became postmaster. To provide space for the Post Office and to increase the retail range, Bob took over the former butcher’s shop, next door.

The Bettesworth family has run this village shop, originally called J C Bettesworths, in Village Street for more than 80 years. Bob, who was born and bred in Newdigate, followed in his father’s footsteps, who was the shopkeeper for around 30 years. Bob was a young lad shortly after his Dad, known to everyone as Charlie, took on the shop.

The Premier store is affectionately known as Bob’s shop and it really is at the heart of the community, selling groceries, food-to-go, alcohol and newspapers and also supporting the local school and community events, including Royal occasions.

Bob, aged 84, is still the postmaster for Newdigate and works in the shop. His son, Paul, now manages the store and Post Office.

They kept Newdigate Post Office and convenience store open throughout the pandemic and they were really busy as people wanted to stay local.

Postmaster, Bob Bettesworth, said: “I have really enjoyed my time as a shopkeeper and postmaster because of the people that I meet. I have got to know my community so well as I have been serving the village for 60 years. I love to chat to my customers.

Times have changed. We no longer have banks in the area, not even in the town of Dorking. We are now the local bank and people come here to do their personal and business banking on behalf of all the high street banks. We now do more banking than any other Post Office business.

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

Post Office Area Manager, Ishrath Iqbal, said: “I want to sincerely thank Bob for serving Newdigate Post Office customers for three decades. Bob has been the shopkeeper for 60 years and is still happily serving the village where he was born and raised. 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.

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