Rogate Post Office to get new Postmaster
Rogate Post Office will soon have a new Postmaster and longer opening hours upon the retirement of Postmaster Ann Arnold.
Craig Ramus took over Rogate Village Store in West Street, Rogate, in December ahead of Ann’s planned retirement.
He undertook a big refurbishment, which changed the layout of the shop. This doubled the retail area and allowed him to increase his retail range. There is brand new shelving and equipment in the store.
This is Craig’s fourth village shop, but this is his first shop with a Post Office. In January he employed a manager, Robert Aylen who was trained to run the Post Office, whilst Ann remained as Postmaster.
This meant that opening hours could increase from two mornings a week to five days from 9am – 5pm.
When Craig becomes Postmaster on May 13 he will extend the Post Office opening hours further, also adding service on a Saturday morning from 9am – 12.30pm.
Craig Ramus said: “The community has been very welcoming. My new manager, Robert, is proving very popular with customers. The refurbishment of the store freed up a lot of space and we can now stock a much wider range of goods.
"Retail sales have quadrupled since December – this has been amazing. People have been very supportive. They have wanted to stay local and not to travel far if they could get what they needed on the doorstep.
“It was a baptism of fire taking on the running of the Post Office in December before Christmas. It was extremely busy as people wanted to send parcels to family and friends that they could not meet. There was also a large number of home shopping returns.
"People also were doing their banking on behalf of all the high street banks. I very quickly realised how important the Post Office is to Rogate.
“The last year has been unforgettable. Running several shops, it was utter madness, especially during the first lockdown.
"Nomally we would have one van for restocking the shops from Bookers cash and carry, but there was so much demand that we needed one van per shop as demand was so high and we were get to get stocks of toilet rolls, pasta and other goods that the main supermarkets couldn’t.
"Things have calmed down a bit, but demand is still high and the customers are remaining loyal.”
Bradley Barnard, Post Office area manager said: “We thank Ann for her loyal service to the community and we wish her a well-earned retirement.
"We are delighted to have a full-time Post Office again in Rogate thanks to Craig Ramus. The shop has been modernised and become far more spacious and it looks great.”