'It's an honour': Meet the UK's oldest postmistress from Norfolk

Betty Norris at 91 is the oldest postmistress in the UK and has her post office in her home in Thomp

Betty Norris at 91 is the oldest postmistress in the UK and has her post office in her home in Thompson. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

A 91-year-old woman who has been recognised as the country’s oldest postmistress said it’s “an honour”, as she continues to run the business from her home in Norfolk. 

Betty Norris, who lives in the village of Thompson, has been running a post office from her home for the last 31 years.  

Mrs Norris and her husband, Archie Norris, previously ran three post offices and village shops in the area including Watton, Carbrooke and Thompson before retiring in 1967.  

Betty Norris at 91 is the oldest postmistress in the UK and has her post office in her home in Thomp

Betty Norris at 91 is the oldest postmistress in the UK and has her post office in her home in Thompson. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

But around 1990 when Mr Norris died and the Thompson village shop and post office closed, Mrs Norris decided to go back to work.  

She said: “When they decided to close the post office here, I couldn’t allow the village to go without. 


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“It was still a busy business then. People had family allowance and pension books and they had to go to the post office to get their money. A lot of people in the village didn’t even have transport in those days. 

“I don’t get as money customers as I used to. People don’t get money out nowadays. People don’t write letters or send cards like they used to either. 

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“But I have my regulars. They used to come every week but now they come once a month. 

“I sometimes think it’s about time I gave up. But I have an old boy who comes who I have to help. So, I think for his sake I need to keep going. When I talk about giving up people say please don’t.” 

Betty Norris' home in Thompson which houses the village's post office, making Betty at 91 the oldest

Betty Norris' home in Thompson which houses the village's post office, making Betty at 91 the oldest postmistress in the UK. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

When Betty’s front door is open, that means the post office is too.  

And she can usually be found sat behind the counter - which is a small room with a glass screen partition - on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9am until 1pm.  

The mother-of-two and grandmother-of-two, who lives in the house with her daughter and son-in-law, even continued to work and kept the post office open throughout lockdown.  

Betty Norris at 91 is the oldest postmistress in the UK and has her post office in her home in Thomp

Betty Norris at 91 is the oldest postmistress in the UK and has her post office in her home in Thompson. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

She added: “I am officially the oldest postmaster in the country. It makes me feel very old but it’s quite an honour really. 

“I do enjoy it but I will have to retire at some point. I have to remind myself every now again how old I really am.” 

Betty Norris' home in Thompson which houses the village's post office, making Betty at 91 the oldest

Betty Norris' home in Thompson which houses the village's post office, making Betty at 91 the oldest postmistress in the UK. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

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