BARNSLEY Post Office is now run by a private company for the first time in its 52-year history.

And while the message from management is ‘business as usual’, there will be a big space to fill as experienced worker Ann Scholey decides to call time on her career having been in the Pitt Street office from its early days.

Assistant manager Ann, 71, has done practically every job since she started in 1966 at its former site on Regent Street, which made way for the new office the following year - originally working six-day weeks as a 17-year-old.

“I think it’s my time, the change in ownership just made my mind up,” said Ann.

“I’ve had a lot of kisses from the postmen. The people I’ve worked with will be the thing I miss the most.

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“It’s an emotional day and I’m a bit excited, but it’s a lot of hours to fill.

“You need a reason to get up every morning and I’ve always enjoyed my job. We’ve got a damn good service here.

“I’ve got a new job now of organising nights out so we don’t all lose touch.”

Ann, of Ainsdale Court, Monk Bretton, said she had ‘left school on the Tuesday and started on the Thursday’ after her school days at Broadway Grammar School.

“The office at Pitt Street was brand-spanking new,” she said.

“Things have changed for the better in some respects. The job’s changed because the world’s changed.

“I’ve got lots of memories - most of which I can’t share. We used to play jokes on each other all the time.

“We used to have to balance when we closed which meant not leaving until 7pm. But I did learn how to put eye makeup on in a moving vehicle as we’d get ready for a night out on the bus.”

Ann joins two other colleagues who are also retiring, while three are relocating to other offices, one is leaving for another job and three are staying at the Pitt Street office.

She’s still not sure how she will take retirement - but is looking forward to spending time in her allotment and garden, as well as visiting one of her two daughters who lives in Cornwall and her son in Wiltshire.

The Post Office branch will now be run by Bolton-based retail firm ZCO Ltd.