‘Dramatic change’ but still a post office in Whyke

Chris Buitenhuis, post office owner, and the mayor of Chichester John Hughes open the new-look post office in Hardham Road, Chichester
Chris Buitenhuis, post office owner, and the mayor of Chichester John Hughes open the new-look post office in Hardham Road, Chichester

IT may have a brand-new look, but a post office remains at the heart of its community after 50 years.

The Whyke estate’s post office in Hardham Road officially re-opened on Thursday as part of one of the first WH Smith Local branches in the country.

Chris Buitenhuis, 57, has run the post office with his wife Theresa for the past 12 years and welcomed the mayor, John Hughes, to officially open its doors.

He said his customers were getting used to the changes.

“The change is quite a dramatic change for them really,” he said. “We used to do more in the way of soft drinks and alcohol. We’re more geared now towards a newsagents.

“Everyone thinks it looks great and fantastic compared to what it was like before.”

Before Chris, Alan and Alison Morgan ran the store for 38 years and were on hand for the big day.

“It was good, it was brilliant,” 
Alan said. “The people were brilliant, we had a wonderful life.

“I must say we were very lucky to come here.”

The post office is now open in the WH Smith Local and a spokeswoman said it would be open nearly as long as the rest of the store, seven days a week and nearly an extra 20 hours a week on what it was before.