Sounding The Last Post
PUBLISHED: 10:34 23 November 2006 | UPDATED: 11:14 06 May 2010
THE prize for the least surprising event of the week goes to a very obvious candidate. In fact, there is no contest - the closure of Letchworth Crown Post Office wins it hands down. From the moment the distant Post Office Ltd announced consultations on th
THE prize for the least surprising event of the week goes to a very obvious candidate.
In fact, there is no contest - the closure of Letchworth Crown Post Office wins it hands down.
From the moment the distant Post Office Ltd announced consultations on the move, one instinctively knew that the office was doomed, no matter what anyone said.
Individual residents - particularly the elderly and disabled - denounced the idea of shutting the office which was so conveniently located slap bang in the middle of the town centre.
The district council voiced opposition, as did the Heritage Foundation but even that body, usually with a big influence on what goes on locally, was unable to divert Post Office Ltd from its chosen course.
The Comet mounted a strong campaign to keep the office - but to no available.
It soon became clear that the Post Office Ltd consultations on the issue did not include whether or not the office should stay open.
Even though that is exactly what the public wanted, they were told that it was not an option.
So yesterday (Wednesday) arrived and at 3pm - earlier than usual - the central post office in Broadway shut its doors for the last time.
The Comet took along bouquets of flowers for the staff as a token of the townsfolk's appreciation for the service given at the office over many years.
And that was that for a chapter in the town's proud history.
From this morning the public wanting to use the service must get themselves to near the bottom of Station Road on the edge of the town centre where a franchised post office has been opened in the McColl's convenience store.
The post office counter has been built right at the back of the shop beyond the shelves of food and drink.
Quite how McColl's will cope with its usual customers as well as all those wanting the post office service - especially on a popular pension day or busy Saturday when, at the old, much roomier crown office, the place was packed with the queue going out the door - is beyond me.
I for one will be avoiding the crush there if at all possible.
Elsewhere in Letchworth town centre, my attention was caught by a sign in a charity shop.
It made me wonder if there is nothing sacred these days.
And it also made me ponder on how very greedy, grasping and downright dishonest our society has become.
On a shelf was a model of an idyllic Nativity scene with the adoring folk and animals gathered round the crib in a straw-strewn stable.
But one essential element was missing.
Because of this, the Christmas item could not be sold to make money for the charity.
The nice ladies in the Garden House Hospice shop had been forced to put a small hand-written notice on the stable roof explaining what had happened..
It read: "For display only. Someone has stolen baby Jesus.