A Wiltshire postmaster who has chalked up 30 years serving Post Office customers in his Wiltshire village has been presented with a long service award.

David Gatehouse runs the post office at Zeals just off the A303 running through Wiltshire and chalked up the milestone after his family decided to extend their business.

His parents had run the family car repair garage since 1952 and at one stage it was also a fuel station at Chapel Lane in Zeals near Warminster. In 1994 the postmaster decided to retire and a new location was sought.

David took on the Post Office and Jenny Jeans, who had worked for the previous postmaster came to work for him. She has since retired.

Zeals Postmaster David Gatehouse with Post Office regional manager Debbie Mickleborough.Zeals Postmaster David Gatehouse with Post Office regional manager Debbie Mickleborough. (Image: Post Office Ltd)

Mr Gatehouse, said: “It worked well adding a Post Office to our family business. It makes sense having lots of different businesses under one roof.

“Our garage repairs receptionists, Barbara Moodie, Sue Paul, Janie Prouse and Jan Garvin, also serve the Post Office customers and people buying convenience food from the shop.

“We managed to stay fully open throughout the pandemic and we were really busy as people want to send parcels to people that they could not see, there were lots of home shopping returns and many eBay packages.

“People were very grateful that the branch remained open to provide vital Post Office services on their doorstep.

“We saw lots of customers that we would not normally see as they work in other areas, but with the pandemic they were working from home.”

The Post Office nationally has more than 11,500 branches across the country. If all the branches are put in alphabetical order Zeals Post Office would be last on the list.

The company said the Zeals post office is very important to Post Office Ltd and this rural community. It is at the heart of the village and David and his team are fully involved with village life.

The Post Office has presented a 30 years’ long service award to Mr Gatehouse in appreciation of his important role in the community.

Post Office area manager, Kara Boswell, said: “I want to sincerely thank David for serving Post Office customers for three decades and adding it to the existing family-run car repair business.

“The business has adapted over the years and with many bank branch closures it is now a vital place to do personal and business banking.”