It's the end of an era for Sandra Mawdsley and her village post office.

On Thursday, Sandra retired from her job as subpostmistress at Brockholes Post Office and the popular premises, on New Mill Road, closed its doors for the final time.

The job has changed immensely since 1981 when Sandra worked her first day at the Holme Valley post office.

Sandra says: "It was very much pensions and family allowances then. It was very local and people would come on foot.

"Now it's very eBay orientated. People picking up and sending back parcels."

She adds: "We had a lot of passing trade because local post offices are being closed down all over the place."

In some ways the job has become easier.

Brockholes Sub Postmaster Sandra Mawdsley retires after 37 years. Sandra behind the counter of Brockholes Post Office.
Brockholes Sub Postmaster Sandra Mawdsley retires after 37 years. Sandra behind the counter of Brockholes Post Office.

Sandra says: "You used to have to add up to give customers the right amount of benefit money and total it all up at the end of the week. You had to be quite good at arithmetic. It's a lot easier now; everything is quicker."

While the job placed Sandra and her husband John at the heart of small, friendly community it was sometimes hard work.

Sandra recalls: "I had my son on Wednesday and then on Thursday evening I had to count up all the pensions. Now it all just comes up on the computer."

And just 18 months into the job, a pair of robbers, one armed with a gun, attempted to hold up the post office.

But the pair fled when her husband John sounded the alarm. Quick-thinking John, now 70, also noted the registration of the getaway car which allowed the police to catch the robbers shortly afterwards.

Brockholes subpostmaster, Sandra Mawdsley, retires after 37 years. Sandra's husband John was working at the post office during an attempted armed robbery in 1982. The story from the Examiner back in the early 80s.
Brockholes subpostmaster, Sandra Mawdsley, retires after 37 years. Sandra's husband John was working at the post office during an attempted armed robbery in 1982. The story from the Examiner back in the early 80s.

John was awarded a commendation by the police.

And there were plenty of other rewards to the job.

Sandra, 68, said: "It's be lovely. The place is lovely, the people are lovely and I'm sad to see it go."

The mum-of-two and her husband, a semi-retired plasterer, will be spending some of their retirement touring in their caravan.

But the couple, who live in the post office, won't be going away for long.

Sandra, who has three grandchildren, said: "We're staying in the village so we will still see the people."

Brockholes Sub Postmaster Sandra Mawdsley retires after 37 years. Sandra in front of the counter in Brockholes Post Office
Brockholes Sub Postmaster Sandra Mawdsley retires after 37 years. Sandra in front of the counter in Brockholes Post Office

She added: "I'd like to thank the villagers."

Gary Cook, of GCHQ Hair Designers in Brockholes said they'd worked over the road from Sandra for 15 years.

He said: "She will be very much missed by the Brockholes community. She's been an important part of the community and we're all going to miss her.

"We're not going to have a post office anymore and a lot of people in the village do use the post office — even I used to go in for pound coins."