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Two pints of lager and a book of stamps

PUBLISHED: 13:53 15 April 2004 | UPDATED: 04:47 02 March 2010

AS the long hazy days of summer approach, many residents of villages around the region will take advantage of the weather and pop down to their local pub for a pint.

AS the long hazy days of summer approach, many residents of villages around the region will take advantage of the weather and pop down to their local pub for a pint.

And, at one pub in Bentley, near Ipswich, villagers could now find the trip is doubly rewarding – because they can post letters and buy stamps while supping a brew or two.

For Jean Senior, landlady at The Case is Altered, is the village's new sub-postmistress and will run the post office from inside the popular pub.

Mrs Senior, who has been in charge at the pub for three years, applied to open the post office branch after the village's previous store closed last month.

She said: "I just felt so sorry for the old people in the village who need the post office and a little everyday shop. They were upset so we decided to apply.

"The nearest branch at the moment is in Capel St Mary, and it's difficult for the elderly to get there – it ends up being a day trip for them, which I don't think is fair.

"Village life is very important and we've got to keep these things going. The post office is essential and nowadays, if it shuts, then the pub does next and there's nothing left at all."

The post office, which will be located in a separate room to the main pub area, will also sell a variety of everyday goods, from bread to coffee and butter.

It will open for the first time on June 7, and after that will be open all week and on Saturday mornings.

And the pub itself will also begin all-day opening, offering coffees and afternoon teas, as well as a place for locals to socialise.

"We want to make it a place for all the people in the village to meet, chat and socialise," added Mrs Senior.

"It will be hard work, but I'm hoping to get some extra staff in and I'm sure we'll sort it out. I think it's going to be great.

"If it doesn't work then it won't be for a lack of trying, but we've had a lot of good feedback from people in the village, so we're happy with that.

"People can come in and have a pint while they buy a book of stamps – I think it's really good."

A spokesman for the Post Office said that there were other examples of post offices being located in pubs around the country.

She added: "We do everything we can to ensure that post office services can continue in rural areas."

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