We will miss customers but not the early starts
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
Parminder and Jas Rai are retiring after 27 years and inset; the Rev John MacKenzie