Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: UK: Scotland
Front Page 
World 
UK 
Northern Ireland 
Scotland 
Wales 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Sport 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


BBC Scotland's John Johnstone
"There are concerns about the impact on the community"
 real 28k

Monday, 29 November, 1999, 07:31 GMT
Blue day at red post office
Haroldswick stamp The date stamp is popular among collectors

The UK's most northerly post office is closing its doors for what may be the last time.

The office at Haroldswick, on the Shetland island of Unst, is shutting because no-one wants to take over from the retiring sub-postmistress Doris Gray.

The National Federation of Sub Postmasters and Mistresses says the closure of Haroldswick provides a warning for rural communities and is calling for more to be done to keep alive a service.

Post office The well-known red building
Philatelists travel from around the UK for a special date stamp. A picture of the famous red building, featured on a 20p stamp in 1997, is included in most Shetland tour guides.

There have been inquiries about the post office and application forms have been sent out but there are doubts about it being a viable business.

Calls from England

Shetland manager of Post Office Counters Jim Mullay said: "I have had several calls from England. However, there is nobody in Haroldswick applying for the job.

"People think there is a business for sale, but there is not, as there is no shop connected to it."

Doris Gray Doris Gray: Retiring after 29 years
The successful application has to provide premises or agree a lease on the existing building. The local shop in Haroldswick does not want to move the office to its premises.

Mrs Gray, 67, and her late husband Albert served the local community for 29 years.

She said: "I feel kind of sad about it. It means Baltasound post office will be the most northerly post office in Scotland."

Baltasound, the main village on the island of Unst, which has a population of 950, is three miles south of Haroldswick.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE

See also:
18 Sep 98 |  UK
Rural areas could be Lottery losers
06 Aug 99 |  The Company File
Post Office bids for Lottery
08 Jul 99 |  UK Politics
PO plans 'not stealth privatisation'

Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
Links to other Scotland stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Scotland stories