Couple to step down after running post office and store in village near Lancaster for 23 years
An Army couple who put down roots and bought Over Kellet Post Office and shop nearly 23 years ago are to retire.
Tracy and Craig Burns have run the business on The Green in Over Kellet since 1998.
Craig, who served in the 42nd Army Regiment, is to fully retire and Tracy, who has been postmistress since 1998, is looking forward to horse riding and future travel. They also have elderly relatives needing care.
Tracy said: “The Post Office and shop is the hub of the village. We have been trying to sell, but we have had no joy with a buyer yet. We can’t go on for ever - we have elderly relatives who need our support.
“With the Army, we had moved three times in a short period of time. We needed to settle for the sake of our children.
"So, we spotted the Post Office and newsagents, which was close to where Craig’s parents live. Running this business was great for us as it provided a stable environment to raise children.
“We have loved being a big part of the community. We have really enjoyed seeing the dramatic change of small children who came into our shop, when we first arrived, who have now grown into amazing adults. We also have many regular customers and we enjoy the banter with them as we know them so well.
“This is a rural location. Not everyone drives and we have been here for the community all year round. When there is bad weather, the community do not want to travel.
"The same is true for the pandemic. This has been a surreal time and very hectic, especially during the first lockdown, when people were getting food and milk from us as well.
"People felt panicked leaving the village, but they felt safe coming to our shop. The Post Office was really busy with people sending parcels to people that they could not see and as then there were so many home shopping returns!
"Most people ordered loads so that they could choose, but most went back. The branch was also busy with banking.”
Post Office area manager, Chris Ball, said: “We thank Tracy and Craig for their loyal and devoted service. They have been at the heart of the community for more than two decades and they found running a Post Office and shop worked really well with raising children.”
Over Kellet Post Office and shop is closing tomorrow, Wednesday September 29, at 3pm.
The Post Office has said it is working hard to restore service to the village with an outreach Post Office.
In the meantime, alternative branches include Carnforth Post Office at 21 Market Street, Carnforth, LA5 9JX, and Warton Post Office, at 99 Main Street, Warton, LA5 9PJ.