Claverley Post Office's Kay White is the UK’s oldest postmistress, and celebrated her birthday at the weekend.
It was also special because she has finally been able to return to work after shielding during the height of the coronavirus outbreak.
Post Office area manager, Adam Shillcock, visited the branch to mark Kay’s birthday with some presents. It was also a belated celebration to mark her achievement of six decades in charge of her Post Office in person.
On the diamond anniversary itself, Kay was shielding from the Covid-19 pandemic. The Post Office sent Kay a bouquet of flowers to mark the occasion and phoned her to thank her for her loyal and dedicated service.
Though she has been postmistress for 60 years, Kay has actually worked at Claverley Post Office since she was 14, when she left Claverley Church of England School – a total of over 78 years.
Kay said: "Claverley is a beautiful village. I have loved my life here and have never wanted to move anywhere else.
"It is such a shame that the coronavirus pandemic stopped me from working on my 60th anniversary and doing what I thoroughly enjoy doing – serving the community and keeping in touch with the villagers. It is great to be back at work.”
Mr Shillcock was able to let Kay know that he has nominated her as a local hero in the Post Office’s ‘We’re Stronger Together’ regional awards which will recognise the efforts made by postmasters across the region to keep branches open during the Covid-19 pandemic and serve their local community.
He said: “I have nominated Kay for special Covid-19 service recognition as although the branch was closed due to the pandemic in its early stages, it reopened its doors on June 1 much to the delight of the local community.
“Kay's commitment to support her community has seen her rack up 78 years working at the branch in Claverley and 60 years as the postmistress. A truly phenomenal feat. She is supported fantastically also by her niece Ann who in turn has completed 28 years there.
"Both were chomping at the bit to get the branch back and open. They are not only unique in the area but across the whole network. The word resilience is often used, but in this instance it’s unparalleled and as their area manager I am deeply proud to work with them."
In 2010 Kay was awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours for her services to the community. As well as being busy as the village postmaster, Kay spent 38 years on the Parish Council, ran the Sunday school at All Saints Church for more than 20 years and founded the local Women’s Institute.
Nick Read, Post Office chief executive, said: “I want to congratulate Kay White, our oldest postmaster, for achieving 60 years as postmistress for Claverley. What a remarkable achievement.
"Kay and her niece, Ann, who run the Post Office are much loved and appreciated by the village and by myself and colleagues in our area team, who are amazed and impressed by Kay who is still enjoying serving customers.”