This month marks the end of an era for a Herefordshire post office, that is closing after having been run by the same family for more than 100 years.

Josephine Loxston retires from running the post office at Norton Canon, near Hereford, at the end of June, ending a family tradition that stretches back to 1919.

Her husband Robert's grandfather Robert Evans took it over in that year when it was situated in a carpenter's shop in the village.

The shop was then moved to the nearby vicarage in 1936 where he ran it with his wife Edith until 1952.


Mr Loxston's mother May then took over the responsibility of running the business, before moving the operation with her husband into the bungalow where it still stands today in 1964.

Mrs Loxston took over the reins from her mother-in-law in early July 1982 and is herself marking a personal milestone of exactly 40 years at the helm at the end of this month.

She said: "I was a bit dubious about taking it over in the first instance, but felt it was only right to keep it running after it had been in the family for so long.

"Little did I know I would still be doing it 40 years later."


With husband Robert working long days as a builder, she had to juggle keeping the post office open with seeing her son Jaime off to school.

"It was tricky but luckily Jaime's school was only just across a field from the house, and I could stand at the gate and wave him off." she said.

One of the teachers would always stand at the other end of the field waiting for Jaime to get there and I could see him meeting them from our gate, so I didn't have to leave the premises."

Hereford Times: Josephine Loxston with her husband Robert, outside Norton Canon Post OfficeJosephine Loxston with her husband Robert, outside Norton Canon Post Office

The post office is set to close with the retiring of Mrs Loxston, and she said it's only a matter of time before other rural post offices go the same way.

She said: "The village post office is a bit of a dying breed, there are not that many of us left in rural Herefordshire anymore."

Mrs Loxston said that she doesn't regret taking on the post office for a second and that she has had a lot of fun keeping the family business going.

She said: "The number of coffees and lunches I have been invited to in the next few months, my diary is going to be full.

"I'm going to be almost as busy as when I've been working.

"I feel incredibly lucky, and I've met some great people over the years, and formed some great friendships."