Sunday, March 09, 2008

Local Landmarks Disappearing

The government needs to recognise that if the local post office closes, often the last shop in the village closes as well."

Charles Hendry, Conservative post offices spokesman

The first letter T in the word stationary hangs askew, as if it itself feels spiritless about the shop’s closure below. Yes, it’s official- our wee post office around the corner has been closed. A sad sight now, sitting there with empty windows, empty card stacks, empty shelves and cleared off counters. Gone are the parcel weighing scales and friendly smiles with cheerful antidotes for rainy days.

Sadly many of us have found ordering online and direct banking easier. When we do choose to go out it tends to be at a larger shopping complex where we can get everything done in one pit-stop ~ food shopping, gasoline, fast food, postal services, etc.

I will miss that wee post office- now just another shopping space lying dormant on an even emptier street. A street that once had its own thriving community ~ a butchers, bakers, grocers, tailors, shoe shop etc. My dear neighbour, Maurice (87yrs) used to live above the old sweet shop on that road and can vividly recall the hustle and bustle of days gone by- a yesteryear that l would prefer to what is there now.

What is happening to the wee lady who digs around in her purse for the right change; penalised if she doesn’t use direct debits instead for paying her bills? Does she have to trudge miles further now to collect her pension or post a parcel? Will l be that old lady one day struggling against a government who cares more about the ‘viability’ of a product or institution rather than taking the socially responsible role and realising that these post office buildings are not just some shoestring operation but more often the heart of a community?
Certainly an era is passing before us and l am not so sure that it is for the better. Whether it is the closure of a rural schools or sub post offices - once these institutions are gone they are gone forever. More of our cultural history and our heritage passes away and community becomes yet more degraded.
Post office closure plan protest


Betty said...

I'm sad to read that your post office has closed....I was the officer in charge of our little village post office years ago. It is so important to the community....Betty

MissKris said...

I just hate to see old buildings shut down or torn down. Our area of Portland is seemingly next in line to become a 'hot' area of small coffee and specialty shops. A lot of the old buildings have been razed and it seems as if there's something new gone whenever Dylan and I go out. I hate visiting my hometown for that reason, too. We humans are creatures of habit and to see changes to 'memories' is so hard to swallow. The old school where all 12 grades used to be housed was torn down several years ago. The first time I visited and saw the empty lot of grass where my beloved school once stood brought tears to my eyes. Same with some of the houses I'd lived in! Change...who needs it?!? I'll probably join you and be one of those little old ladies, too, Sara. Thanks so much for stopping by and the lovely comment! Hope you're all on top of your earlier 'bugs'! (((((HUG)))))

Lorraine said...

This makes me very sorry...and partly because I think I delude myself into thinking that this sort of thing is the province of the US, what with us being too young and brash and stupid to see the consequences of our actions.

When something like this happens in an older, more mature country it makes me doubly sad.

I loved your images of the bustling street that was.

Susie said...

I'm always a bit sad to read of local shops closing. The big box stores have taken so much business from then, and as you say also the online shopping and banking.
Hope you're all feeling better?

Pearl said...

There was a small post office by my mother and father's house for years. I loved going there and talking with the women. Unfortunately it closed and the building is now vacant. Wish I knew who was making these decisions.

Hope you are doing well.

Jeanette said...

Hi Horizon, Hope your all well over the sniffles..
So sad to see any local shops closing, especially for the older folk that had only to walk a short distance for there pension and to pay there bills..

PEA said...

Horizon!!!! I didn't realize you were back to blogging until I saw the comment you left me!!! Omigosh, I'm soooo glad to see you again:-) I've just read your last few posts...I am so sorry to hear that you lost a couple of loved ones, my sympathies to you and the family. You've also been very ill...I had scarlet fever when I was a little girl and still remember how ill I was. And poor little Sam, having to have some teeth pulled out!! I do hope you both soon feel 100%!

It truly is sad to see local landmarks slowly disappearing one by one. I miss the friendly smiles and good service...don't get that when facing a machine to dispense your money or stamps!!

Take care my friend! xoxo

Merle said...

Dear Sarah ~~ It is so sad to hear of shops and post offices closing, as they never seem to re-open. And especially we older folk who do not like to buy on the internet, we miss
the older ways. I still like to send parcels to my grandkids for their birthdays, etc. Glad you enjoy the jokes. Take care, my friend, Love,

The Mama said...

I agree with everyone, it is so sad to see the lovely downtowns shutting their businesses because of the sprawling malls and big new stores. I try to support local business whenever possible but there are less and less out there. I love the character of the small business, it is a lesson in cultural history and I'm so sorry to see it disappearing.


Kerri said...

Yes, it's truly sad to see the end of an 'institution'. So much daily social life happens at a PO.
Our tiny village may lose its tiny PO one day too because of the lack of business. That's the only 'store' in town. If you blink you'll miss the village :)
At the larger village, where our district school is, there's a decent PO, but no longer any drug store (chemist shop). We have to go quite a few miles to get a prescription filled! I've often wondered how the older folks manage.
Hope you're all feeling better!

Tea & Margaritas in My Garden said...

What a shame for your little post office to shut down. It seems the big guys are eating up all the precious little places these days. They were so much nicer.


Anonymous said...

Our village post office shut down a few years ago, and if I want to buy a stamp it's a £3.00 round trip bus journey of 4 miles to the nearest post office!
I agree with what you've said in your post, the shop went with the post office.

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