Page last updated at 17:51 GMT, Friday, 6 June 2008 18:51 UK

Countess backs royal post office

Mary, Dowager Countess of Strathmore
Mary, Dowager Countess of Strathmore is opposing any cuts

A countess has given her backing to a campaign against a cut in services at a post office with royal connections.

The birth of Princess Margaret was registered at the Glamis branch and the Queen Mother spent much of her childhood at the nearby castle.

A six-week consultation on shutting or downgrading offices across the north east, Tayside and Fife is under way.

Mary, Dowager Countess of Strathmore, said the Queen Mother would have been "horrified" at Glamis being targeted.

"She would realise so much the importance of it to so many people for the comfort and happiness it brings to their lives," she said.

"I know a lot of people now are able to do what they need to do online, but I know a lot of people - particularly the elderly - who don't.

I can remember clearly Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret going into the post office when they were young
Sally Buchanan
Post Office Ltd

"For them it is also a point of contact with other people, and you can't quantify how important that is.

"We are hoping so much that sense will prevail. I know it is a difficult thing, but even if it meant subsidising it I know a lot of people would be happy to do that."

Campaigners have collected a 700-name petition opposing the plans for Glamis.

They believe a cut in services would force elderly residents to rely on an infrequent bus service to Forfar or Kirriemuir for an alternative branch.

Dorothy Keith, 84, who has lived in the village most of her life, said she had vivid memories of royals visiting the post office.

"I can remember clearly Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret going into the post office when they were young," she said.

"It's a very special place, and I would not find it easy to go anywhere else, so I'd be really disappointed if it closes."

Sally Buchanan, from Post Office Ltd, said: "Post Office Ltd intends to carry on to provide post office services in Glamis, but we are looking at changing how we provide post office services.

"We're looking to introduce a post office outreach service which will operate for six hours a week and will operate out of the premises that the post office is located in now."


SEE ALSO
Scottish post offices for closure
28 May 08 |  North East/N Isles
Sixteen post offices to shut down
09 May 08 |  Highlands and Islands
Review of post office closures
05 Apr 08 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Four post office branches to shut
27 Mar 08 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West

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