Cash boost delivers a revamp for Norfolk post office

Chloe Smith MP with subpostmaster Neal Gurney at Thunder Lane Post Office. Photo: Bill Smith

Chloe Smith MP with subpostmaster Neal Gurney at Thunder Lane Post Office. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Archant © 2013

He is one of the country's youngest sub-postmasters, but Neal Gurney is not short of ambition when it comes to the post office he runs.

Mr Gurney took on the role at Thunder Lane Post Office when he was just 21.

Now 28, he is celebrating a revamp for the branch, which has also extended its opening hours.

His branch secured a slice of a £1.34bn package of investment announced by the Post Office to improve its branches around the country.

He said: 'We have done quite a bit of renovations.

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'We have taken out a chimney and knocked down a wall, which has made it bigger and allowed us to have more counters. People have been saying it's made us look a bit like a mini version of the post office in the Castle Mall. It's really enabled us to open the shop up and offer more to our customers.'

As well as a new look, the post office branch also now has extended opening hours.

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Mr Gurney said: 'We will now be open all day on Saturdays, whereas before we were open for half a day. I've been keen to improve the branch and to push it forward.'

On Saturday, Chloe Smith, Norwich North MP, cut the ribbon to officially open the new-look post office, which recently held a raffle to raise money for Norfolk bereavement charity Nelson's Journey.

Mr Gurney acknowledged it was unusual for someone as young as him to be a sub-postmaster.

He said: 'My father bought it about 10 years ago and employed me as a counter clerk, and I ended up becoming the sub-postmaster.

'I enjoy it. I live in Thorpe, so I do feel like we're part of the community. I particularly enjoy talking to our customers – we had a couple of our most loyal ones here to mark the official reopening.'

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