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Video: East Leeds postmistress celebrates 50 years

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  • by Juliette Bains
 

One of the longest serving postmistresses in Leeds is celebrating 50 years of service.

Grandmother-of-six Marjorie Goldthorpe started her job as postmistress on January 8, 1964, at Great Preston Post Office on the outskirts of Leeds.

Over the years, Marjorie, 74, has turned the Post Office into a hub for the whole community.

She said: “It’s been a big change. There were no computers or calculators when I took over here. It was a pen and pencil, and pounds, shillings and pence.

“I like to think it’s a place where people can come and have a sit down and a cup of tea and a chat.

“The community - that’s the most important thing.

“I don’t class them as just customers. They are friends.”

To commemorate five decades as postmistress, Great and Little Preston Parish Council presented Marjorie with an engraved silver plate on behalf of the community.

A surprise party was also held at the nearby New Inn, with around 80 guests.

Getting teary-eyed, Marjorie added: “I want to say a big thank you to the community.

“It is not the gifts or cards that are important – it’s nice to know that everybody is there for you.”

Chairman Ian Wallace said: “Marjorie is a friend to everybody.

“For the last 10 years, Marjorie has taken it upon herself to keep an eye on older people around here.

“She makes sure they have got everything they need and makes frequent calls to vulnerable people living on their own.

“This is the only shop we have got, so it is the hub of the village.”

The Post Office on St Aidans Road has been targeted by armed robbers three times in the past.

Earlier this week, West Yorkshire Police gave Marjorie a commendation award for her dedication to community service, bravery and resilience in the face of armed criminals.

She added: “It is just part of life. They have never got away with a lot of money, so I think I have been lucky.”

Speaking about her plans for the future, Marjorie said: “I want to carry on as long as I can. I don’t think it will be another 50 years, though.”

Marjorie married husband Jeffrey in September, 1963 and they had three children.

Jeffrey passed away on April 1, 1986.

Son Andrew Goldthorpe, 49, said: “She’ll never pack it in. She’s looking after people and that is all she wants. She is kind, thoughtful and willing to do anything for anybody.”

 

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