Royal Mail chiefs search for new place for ‘lifeline’ village postbox after shop closes

Royal Mail bosses are looking for a new location to site a postbox in Elwick village after its only one was sealed up for a time.

Residents of the village complained, including to the town’s MP, after the box was out of action for several days.

Elwick Village Post Office. Picture by FRANK REID

Elwick Village Post Office. Picture by FRANK REID

It happened after Countrywide property services repossessed the former village shop and post office building on The Green the previous week and placed a sign over the postbox.

Hartlepool MP Mike Hill said the box is a lifeline to residents and losing it would be unacceptable and also wrote to Royal Mail seeking answers.

The postal service is now looking for somewhere else in the village to install a new box as it is likely the premises will be sold.

It has apologised to people for any inconvenience they may have suffered as a result of the postbox being closed.

The village shop and post office has been closed for more than a year.

Once a new site is found Royal Mail will remove the current postbox from the premises.

A Royal Mail spokeswoman said: “Unfortunately Countrywide property services closed over the box after repossessing the premises and we are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.

“The box has now been returned to operational use today for customers to use. As the building is expected to be sold, we are now looking for an alternative site in the village for a postbox.”

Mr Hill said: ‘I am pleased that the Post Office has acted quickly to get the postbox reopened.

“Frankly it should never have been closed off in the first place without the Royal Mail being notified by the property services company, as it clearly not only had a negative impact on the community, but on themselves as a postal service.

“I sincerely hope that if the box is to be moved that planning permission is applied for and granted swiftly to avoid further disruption.”