A RED letter day was celebrated on Tuesday when Haslemere’s iconic West Street post office re-opened against the odds.
There was an outcry in March 2017, when the Post Office announced the town-centre branch could close when the lease expired.
But people power has saved the day.
Former Haslemere mayor Brian Howard launched a successful Save Our Post Office from Closure campaign, which saw a new business co-founded by his son Douglas – Real English Drinks House – buy the freehold of the property, which was built as a post office in 1906.
In 2018, Waverley planners approved the Redh scheme to secure the long-term future of the branch by combining it with a new first-floor bar and cafe.
Campaigners were delighted the rundown premises would enjoy a new lease of life.
The post office relocated to temporary premises in West Street, while major building work was under way.
The temporary branch closed and the operation was restored to its original home on Tuesday afternoon, with the 1906 panelled entrance returned to its former glory.
Work to complete the first-floor bar, cafe and toilets is ongoing, but due to be completed over the next month, when a grand opening is planned.
Douglas, who has trained as a postmaster to help run the service with existing manager Andrew Robinson, said: “I am immensely excited and proud we have been able to save our historic West Street post office and I’m looking forward to welcoming our customers.
“We launched Redh online in February and our drinks and produce are all locally made to promote Haslemere and the surrounding area.
“We want the post office to be a community space where people can meet up and enjoy the historic building, as well as introducing them to a fantastic range of products sourced locally.”