NEW postmasters have taken over in Felpham.
Mark and Jo Chapman took charge of the village Post Office last week from long-serving Keith and Sue Hellyer.
The handover ended Keith and Sue’s 27 years running the Felpham Road business.
Keith, 62, said: “Working here has become a way of life. We have become part of the life of the village. We have got involved in lots of things and it has been very enjoyable. We’ve loved every minute.
“But I’m optimistic about the future. We’ll certainly have more time on our hands. I’ve been used to getting up at 5.30am seven days a week for the papers to be delivered.”
He said the corner shop side of the business had changed little since he and Sue, 58, arrived in October 1986.
But the Post Office business had altered completely. Gone were the queues on pension day as more payments went online.
However, the service was still important for paying bills and posting parcels.
The installation of an external ATM in November 2010, to make up for the loss of bank branches, had proved important. He and Sue took over the post office after he had worked as a draughtsman at the former Lec Refrigeration factory.
Mark had been a tiler and plumber around Felpham area when he saw the post office was for sale.
“I just thought it was for me,” he said. “I like the village. It’s a nice community and I want to be in the middle of it where people come to. There is still a village atmosphere to this area and people need a business like this.”
Mark, 41, and Jo, 37, have a 17-month-old daughter.