We will miss cus­tomers but not the early starts

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - News - By Ai­dan Bar­low

A hus­band and wife are set to lock up shop for the fi­nal time next week af­ter 27 years run­ning Willes­bor­ough Post Of­fice.

Par­min­der and Jas Rai took on the shop in Church Road in Jan­uary 1989 af­ter mov­ing to Ash­ford from Gravesend.

Since then the duo have got used to the 5.30am wake up calls and work­ing through to 7.30pm in the evenings to serve lo­cal cus­tomers.

Jas said: “The cus­tomers are like our fam­ily as we see them ev­ery day, see­ing them will be the thing we will miss the most.

“Cus­tomers have all told us that they are dis­ap­pointed that we are go­ing. We are on first name terms with many of our cus­tomers and we couldn’t have done it if it wasn’t for them.

“When we first ar­rived from Gravesend they made us feel so wel­come, within a few weeks we felt part of the com­mu­nity.”

Par­min­der said one of his fond­est mem­o­ries was the birth of his youngest son. He said: “When he was born the vicar came to the shop, and put up bal­loons out­side so that ev­ery­body would know and could cel­e­brate with us.

“We have en­joyed our­selves work­ing here, cus­tomers have been very sup­port­ive. We’d like to thank ev­ery­one who has sup­ported us over the years.”

Jas said she is look­ing for­ward to re­tire­ment, and the pos­si­bil­ity of be­ing able to go on a long hol­i­day to­gether for the first time in many years.

She added: “It’s been en­joy­able, but at the same time it has been hard work. We won’t miss the early morn­ings. Af­ter work­ing for 27 years it feels like we have worked dou­ble the time.”

The pair say they are look­ing for­ward to spend­ing six months off be­fore de­cid­ing on what their fu­ture steps will be.

Among their reg­u­lar cus­tomers is St Mary the Vir­gin Church Rec­tor, the Rev John MacKen­zie, who says he has of­ten had ban­ter with Par­min­der about foot­ball.

He said: “They are a lovely fam­ily who have put a great deal into the lo­cal com­mu­nity. They have built up strong re­la­tion­ships with peo­ple and we will all be sad to see them go. I wish them well.”

Do you have fond mem­o­ries of Par­min­der and Jas? Share your thoughts, email ken­tish­ex­press@thek­m­group. co.uk or write to Ken­tish Ex­press, 34-36 North Street, Ash­ford, TN24 8JR

Pic­ture: Wayne McCabe FM4227797 Buy pic­tures from ken­ton­line.co.uk

Par­min­der and Jas Rai are re­tir­ing af­ter 27 years and in­set; the Rev John MacKen­zie

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