Nusrat Ghani, MP for Wealden, cut the ribbon on Friday 28 June to officially open Mayfield Post Office at Rusdens Homes, High Street, Mayfield in East Sussex.
Postmaster Mrs Jo Eates has incorporated a Post Office into her home interiors store, which specialises in offering home accessories and lifestyle items. The previous branch on the High Street closed in May 2018 due to the resignation of the Postmaster. Jo and employee, Sam Santo, now operate her shop and the new Post Office together.
“The Post Office has brought footfall back for all the shopkeepers”
Jo Eates, said: “The village has been so positive about us taking on the Post Office. Every single person who walks through the door is really thanking us for providing a Post Office for the village. They are so grateful.
“A Post Office in Mayfield is essential for those people who don’t have a car. It is also good news for the whole community. When Mayfield lost its Post Office, the whole village suffered. People were going elsewhere to visit a Post Office and they were doing their other shopping elsewhere to buy flowers, cards and deli items. The Post Office has brought footfall back for all the shopkeepers.
“Opening a Post Office has definitely helped our business. We have seen customers that we have not seen before and when people come to use the Post Office they see gifts and ideas for their home, boosting our retail business.”
Jo’s grandfather, Pat Glenister, set up Rusdens Ltd in East Grinstead in 1950 after learning the retail trade at Selfridges, London, where he was the furniture department manager. The business then passed to Jo’s father and then her brother. In 2013 the shop was closed and family members opened their own businesses in Sussex - her brother focuses on carpets and beds, her sister-in-law sells curtains, blinds and soft furnishings.
Local hero Ray Edmonds, who was awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal whilst a Police Constable, for rescuing a woman from the roof of a blazing flat after a volatile hostage situation, also joined in the community celebrations to mark the return of Post Office services to Mayfield.
“The community is delighted”
Nusrat Ghani, MP, said: “The community is delighted to have a Post Office again at the heart of Mayfield. People young and old missed the Post Office when it was gone, so it is great that enthusiastic new Postmaster Jo Eates has taken on the branch.”