South Scotland

Historic Sanquhar post office announces new postmaster

Sanquhar Post Office Image copyright bbc
Image caption The post office in Sanquhar proudly proclaims its place as the oldest working office in the world

A new postmaster has been found to run the world's oldest post office.

Dr Manzoor Alam will become only the 16th person to run Sanquhar Post Office in Dumfries and Galloway.

His appointment secures the future of the historic facility, which has been in continuous service since 1712.

The keen stamp collector and postal historian, who is expected to take up the position in the New Year, said he was proud to be preserving its heritage.

He added: "The post office provides vital products and services to the residents of Sanquhar, and is also a key part of Scotland's postal history.

"My ambition is to promote the rich heritage of the past by establishing a postal museum - the only one in Scotland - and combining it with a modern business, securing this wonderful post office for future generations.

"I also have plans to set up a philatelic society in Sanquhar."

Opening hours

The Post Office has also pledged to make improvements to the Sanquhar branch, including extending opening hours to include Saturday afternoons.

Regional network manager Suzanne Richardson said: "We were looking for someone very special to replace [outgoing postmistress] Penny Murphy and take on the post office in Sanquhar.

"The branch combines a rich postal history with today's wide range of post office services, and we are delighted to announce that Dr Alam has purchased the post office and been appointed as the new postmaster."

Sanquhar Post Office is recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest post office in the world.

It started out as a staging post for mail carriages, with the old stables behind the branch thought to have once provided a resting place for horses drawing the mail carriages.

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