IN just two years since returning to the UK Bernadette Dalingwater has saved a village Post Office, re-opened a vacant pub and planned a Shirley Valentine show at The Courtyard.

To say the mother-of-two has many strings to her bow would be an understatement.

She returned from Canada after 40 years away in May 2015 and moved to the north Herefordshire village of Weobley with her husband, John, and one of her two daughters, Phoenix.

It was there that she saved the Post Office which was under threat of closure.

Bernadette said: "The post mistress Annie Tootall was looking to retire. I have a little gallery in Weobley called Magpie Gallery.

"I thought, well the Post Office is vital to a community. It really is the quintessential hub of the community, especially Weobley and the surrounding areas."

It has been a massive undertaking and took from September 2015 to March of this year to make sure it came together and the Post office is now at the gallery.

She said: "We knew saving the Post Office was for Weobley, there is no money in it."

Bernadette grew up in the north of England before emigrating to Canada, where she met John, and had two daughters, Bailey, 28 and Phoenix, 20.

The couple ran a theatre in Canada and decided that when the moved to the UK they wanted to run a pub.

She said: "In our minds pubs are theatres really. If you go back in time theatres are about storytelling and storytelling happens at your pub.

"They were the Facebook of their time."

They discovered the Red Lion in Madley had been closed for four months and decided to take it on and opened it on Mother's Day.

Bernadette said they wanted to bring people together and get people talking again, and they also serve food which is a mix of British dishes and Canadian specials.

She said: "We haven't had time to sit down. It has been incredibly positive."

And as if they did not have enough going on, the couple are putting on Willy Russell's Shirley Valentine at The Courtyard in Hereford in July.

Bernadette is RADA-trained and will be performing the one-woman show and her husband, John, is an artistic director.

She said: "I have performed this show in Canada and Australia to incredible success - packed houses and standing ovations."

The show is on July 11 at 7.30pm and July 12 at 2pm and 7.30pm. Money raised will go to research into Cornelia de Lange Syndrome.

Her brother, Michael Feeney, died from the genetic disorder on March 18, aged 60.