Work is due to begin on refurbishing Ridgewood Post Office on Thursday, February 12. It will close that day and re-open a week later with a completely new look.
It is 30 years since the Post Office was last updated. That time it closed for a month and while it opened looking refreshed with new shelving, ceiling, flooring and lighting the layout was the same.
This time the internal layout will change to integrate the Post Office with the shop and make it easier for customers to move around.
A wall is to be removed allowing for a new counter area and to open up the Post Office ‘fortress’. The central gondola shelving unit will go too. A very big chiller is off to a new home at Holly Gap Farm and will be replaced by four new ones.
Homebase shelving installed 30 years ago will be replaced with more standard shop fittings. The old shelving will be re-used in a workroom. “It was all we could afford at the time but it has served us well,” said Sue Gothard who owns and runs the business with husband Jon.
The couple are looking forward to having extra space and being able to merge Post Office and store opening hours.
Currently the Post Office hours are shorter than those for the shop and it is frustrating for customers who want to do Post Office business on a Sunday only to find they can’t.
Store opening hours are from 6.30am to 6pm Monday to Saturday and from 7am to noon on Sundays and after the refurbishment the Post Office hours will be the same as for the store.
Since the Gothards moved to the Post Office the business has constantly evolved and most recently it became a National Lottery Outlet offering the full range of lottery games and scratch cards.