Norwich post office reopens under experienced owners

 Fiveways Post Office's new owners Viv and Derek Tooze

Viv and Derek Tooze have taken over the running of Fiveways Post Office in Earlham Green Lane - Credit: Post Office

A couple with more than 20 years' experience running post offices and a passion for customer service have become the new postmasters of a Norwich branch.

Derek and Viv Tooze moved from the south coast to take over the Fiveways Post Office in Earlham Green Lane, which reopened on Monday.

The couple, who live near Wymondham, were looking for a new challenge as well as wishing to move closer to family in the area.

Mr Tooze said: "It was the right mix of business for us. We have run various post offices that have been quite busy. Our passion has always been the post office side.

"We have had good feedback from customers, a lot said it was nice that we were back again.

"Our passion is the customer service."

Mr and Mrs Tooze both worked as bank managers before running their first post office in Scarborough, later running branches in Hythe near Southampton and Highcliffe in Dorset.

The branch in Norwich had been run by Paul Wallace, who retired last month, with his colleague Mike Coe, after nearly five decades. 

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Mr Wallace started alongside his uncle Donny Strivens when he ran the post office in Lovelace Road, when the estate opened after the Second World War. They later moved into the purpose-built Earlham Green Lane branch.

Paul Wallace on his last day at West Earlham Post Office, as he retires after 48 years. Picture: DEN

Paul Wallace on his last day at West Earlham Post Office, as he retires after 48 years. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Copyright: Archant 2021

In September the postmaster was concerned there would be no-one to take over the thriving post office, which is located inside the East of England Co-Op. It prompted a community petition signed by 900 people to keep it open.

Knowing the service was in the capable hands of Mr and Mrs Tooze, Mr Wallace retired on January 27 to spend time with his wife Sharon and their grandchildren.

Wendy Hamilton, Post Office network provision manager, said: “We are delighted to have restored post office service to the area as we know how important a post office is to a community.

"The Earlham Green area has been well served by Paul Wallace and his uncle since the branch was built. Derek, the new, very experienced postmaster and his wife Viv will be able to hit the ground running after so many years working in post offices.”

The Earlham Green Lane site will be open 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 12.30pm on Saturday.