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Sanquhar Post Office welcomes new postmaster

An image of Barry and Mary Ford

Postmaster Barry Ford has taken over at the oldest Post Office in the world, in Sanquhar, Dumfries and Galloway.

Sanquhar Post Office first opened in 1712 and has been in continuous operation for 311 years.

Barry has taken over the branch from Postmistress Nazra Alam who had run the branch along with her late husband, Dr Manzoor Alam, who passed away in November 2022. Nazra has now retired and is returning to the Midlands where she lived prior to moving to Sanquhar.

Lincolnshire-born Barry and his wife Mary from Motherwell had been living and working in Florida for 20 years when they first heard about Sanquhar Post Office being up for sale three years ago. They returned to the UK to live in Motherwell and had been looking for a business to take on and they are now only 17th operator of the world’s oldest post office.

Nick Read, Post Office Chief Executive, said: “I want to pay tribute to Nazra and to her late husband Manzoor for running this truly historic post office for the past eight years. Nazra continued running the branch for the Sanquhar community, and the thousands of tourists who visit every year, through her grief and throughout the Covid pandemic.

“Nazra has been a remarkable Postmistress and I hope she enjoys a happy retirement surrounded by her children and grandchildren.”

Former Postmistress Nazra Alam said: “My husband loved history and was fascinated by the postal history of Sanquhar. He also loved philately, so we bought the business and moved to Scotland. The people of Sanquhar are lovely and the scenery in all directions is beautiful. Manzoor and I loved our time in Scotland, but the winters were too cold for us.

“I give my heartfelt thanks to the people of Sanquhar who have been very kind to us over the years and for their custom and banter that kept me going. I want to also thank our members of staff who worked with us Carol Bell, who retired at Christmas and Arlene Henderson, who is also now retiring.”

Sanquhar Post Office is accredited by the Guinness Book of World Records as being the world’s oldest Post Office. It is a popular attraction for postal and philatelic enthusiasts from across the UK and the world. Many visit to have their letters marked with a special handstamp bearing ‘The World’s Oldest Post Office’.

An official launch event for Barry and Mary Ford taking over as the owners of Sanquhar Post Office will take place in the next few weeks.

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This website contains images and information relating to tobacco products. Please do not view if you are under 18 years of age.

This publication contains images and information relating to tobacco products. Please do not view if you are under the age of 18 years old.