How disappointing it was to see the Spalding Post Office once again under threat of extinction, following a commercial decision by person or persons unknown.
When the current location, within the Co-op centre in Winsover Road was first proposed, I made my reservation clear, particularly with regards to its location within the bowels of the building. When the proposals were first made public, I asked what would happen if the Co-op decided to move on and what guarantee would there be that any new owners would want to continue to run a Post Office slap bang in the middle of their retail operations? As it happens, I have been proven right, with the new owners wishing to evict the Post Office operation.
Also, not only was it a far from obvious location, sandwiched between the food and furniture departments, it was also one of the most uninviting and depressing places I had ever seen a shop located in. It was bad enough just being a customer waiting in line and staring at the blank magnolia walls, what it was like to work in that windowless tube day in day out, one can only imagine. A plea to the management to put up some posters and place the odd artificial potted plant fell on deaf ears, like most communications with Post Office management.
The loss of the experienced, dedicated and well liked staff of the original Sheep Market Post Office was immediately noticeable, as was the apparent under-staffing, as queues regularly formed well beyond the opening – entrance is too grander term.
We are now told that the Post Office is to move next door to No 7A Winsover Road, a modest shop front previously home to an insurance broker. We are also told that the nearest car park is only 50 yards away. What they don’t mention is, that this is the old the car park, but is now around the back of the building and without direct access.
Given Spalding’s current lack of any meaningful parking enforcement, I imagine it won’t be long before we see traffic backed up due to drivers pulling up in front of 7A in order to just ‘nip in’ to post a parcel.
As I said, the shop front is modest and it is difficult to judge exactly how much space will be available to customers. However, I’ve a strong suspicion that at busy times, queues could well be out of the door and on to the street.
On the plus side, the place will now have some natural light from the shop frontage, so the staff should find it a much more pleasant place to work. I just hope the rest of us find more pluses than minuses come from this latest move of our Post Office.