End of an
era for Southport Post Office
ON 19 February 2014,
Southport's Main Post Office was closed for the final time. The
listed building has already been part converted into flats after
the old sorting office was closed and moved across to the
Southport Industrial Estate, near the Southport and Formby
Hospital. Ever since planning permission was granted to turn
part of the listed building, known as The Posting House, on Post
Office Avenue, many feared that the writing was on the wall for
the Crown Post Office. But once the Post Office had announced
plans and its proposals to
modernise 300 Crown Post Office branches in Towns and City
Centres across the UK, it was fairly clear the historic location
would shut its doors. It was later announced that the WHSmith
was to become a partner for 16 Crown branches located across
England, Scotland and Wales; and Southport was one of the
locations chosen. The fear is now that WHSmith, who are one of
the UK's leading retailers of books, stationery, newspapers and
magazines, will have an extremely big advantage over many of the
struggling small shops in Southport, as a result. The now former
Post Office was located in one of the most important areas of
the Town Centre and it had parking outside, with easy access for
disabled people, as it was on one level and on the ground floor.
The new location of the Post Office within WHSmith, is on the
second floor and, despite its having a lift, many fear this will
be a big issue for the elderly and disabled residents in
Southport. Even many of the local Councillors have expressed
their concerns over the relocation. The other issue facing users
of the new location is that there is no parking as Chapel St.
was pedestrianised by Sefton Council. Interestingly, ever since
this happened, many high street shops and national names have
pulled out, leaving behind many vacant shop units, and now pound
shops have moved in, adding even more pressure on very small
shops in and around the Town Centre. "Southport's
retailers never wanted the pedestrianisation of Chapel Street,
yet we got it anyway. We said we did not want our Post Office to
close, but it has happened. Southport people and its businesses
are not being listened to. Our worry is that WHSmith now has an
unfair competitive advantage over many of our shops."
One newsagent said this week. But the move might regenerate
Chapel St. a road which is referred to by WHSmith as "a
central location." WHSmiths store manager, Jeremy
Morris, has also been quoted in the past as saying:- "This
move will be positive for us and positive move for the Post
Office and those that use it." No matter what your views
are, the old historic Post Office in the old post office
building is now closed and the new one with in the WHSmith store
is here to stay. Sadly for the staff of the old Post Office, it
not only marked an end of an era, but also the end of their
jobs, as many of the staff have been let go, we have been told.
On a positive note, Lord Street will still have a Post Office on
it, Lord Street North Sub Post Office, who hopes will gain more
trade, and it is also a local shop with parking available
outside! One massive bonus to the Post Office Lord Street North
is that it is open from 7am and closes at 23:59, with a full
P.O. counter service on offer. If you worked or have any
memories of this Post Office, please email us along with any
views on the closure you might have. Our newsroom email is:-
Did you know? The Lord Street Post Office Building had
underground passageways for mail delivery and also during the
Second World War, was the home of the telephone exchange for
Southport and the surrounding area, including RAF Woodvale and
the other military locations within the area?
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