TO celebrate the launch of relocated Ruardean Post Office, recently retired postmistress Edith Duberley cut the ribbon at an opening ceremony last week.

Ruardean Post Office has moved to a new village shop at London House, Hart Lane, Ruardean, as part of Post Office plans to improve the network and extend opening hours for customers.

New Ruardean postmaster, Simon Cherry and his partner Kate Bellingham, invited Mrs Duberley to perform the honours in recognition of her dedication to Ruardean. Mrs Duberley, 80, ran the village shop for 52 years and had been the village postmistress for 28 years, until she decided to retire recently.

New-look Ruardean Post Office is now open Monday to Saturday, 7am-7pm. This offers customers an extra 28 hours of Post Office service every week including Wednesday and Saturday afternoon. There is no more lunchtime closing and the branch now opens earlier and closes later.

Representatives of Ruardean Parish Council were in attendance along with some children from Ruardean C of E Primary School. Mr Cherry organised a design-a-postcard competition for pupils. The winning design is being made into a postcard, which will be sold at the shop.

Mr Cherry, said: “Customers really appreciate what we have done here. This used to be the village shop in the 1800s. We have retained the character of the building. People have been very supportive of us taking on the Post Office. We have extended our range of goods including new freezers and alcohol and added a coffee area. The longer opening hours make it easier for customers who work and we have easy to remember opening hours 7am to 7pm.”

Mrs Duberley, said: “They are a lovely couple. I am delighted that Ruardean has a new Post Office and village shop – I really hope that people will appreciate what Simon and Kate have done for the village and support it."