A VILLAGE post office which has been closed for more than a week opened again for business yesterday.
But a temporary postmaster will now be running the post office in Elwick as the long-serving owner, Steve Mailen, continues to look for a buyer for the business.
Steve, 43, has owned the Elwick Village Shop and Post Office for 12 years but put the business on the market last year as he looks to sell up and spend more time with his family.
While the shop has remained open throughout, the post office section of the business closed last week with Steve citing problems that were out of his control as the reason behind the closure.
Some residents contacted the Mail to express their disappointment, with one villager saying she had to pay for a taxi to get to a town centre post office to collect her pension when she discovered the branch had closed without warning.
She said: “It has been a complete inconvenience and nobody has known what is going on.
“Many residents like me rely on the post office, and we haven’t got the money for taxis.”
However a Post Office spokeswoman confirmed to the Mail that a temporary postmaster was to take over the running of the branch in order to “restore the services as soon as possible”.
The spokeswoman said: “We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused by the temporary closure of the Post Office branch in Elwick.
“We would like to reassure customers that we are committed to maintaining services to Elwick and in order to restore the service as soon as possible, a temporary postmaster will be running the post office 9am to 1pm starting yesterday.”
It is believed the temporary postmaster will remain in charge of the post office until a buyer for the business is found.
Steve, who lives in the village with his wife, Nicola, 43, and their three children, said: “The business has been up for sale for more than a year now.
“I have loved running the shop and post office over the last 12 years but at this stage I would just like to spend more time with my family.
“The shop has always been open, but the post office section had to close for a short time last week because of problems that were out of my control.”