Julia Donaldson saves Steyning Post Office
This week's launch of the Royal Mail Gruffalo stamps has fortuitously coincided with the book’s author Julia Donaldson saving the Post Office in Steyning, West Sussex from closure!
This small medieval town is nestled in the Downs, half way along the South Downs Way, and holds a special place in Julia's heart as she has many links with the area, not least with Steyning Bookshop who manage her school visits and sell signed copies of her books in the shop and through their website.
Early this year, it was looking as if the people of Steyning would end up losing their Post Office from the High Street, as the current well-loved Post Master and Mistress are retiring after more than 20 years of service. It is well documented the detrimental impact such closures have on residents and businesses alike, so earlier this year Julia and her husband Malcolm approached their friends Vanessa & Jed Bamford who run Steyning Holiday Cottages, to see if they would help them save their local Post Office by running the post office and shop if Julia and Malcolm purchased the building. Luckily, Vanessa and Jed decided that this would fit it in with their existing business, and here they all are, ready to embark on this new venture at the heart of the town!
"We are so excited by this opportunity - we really want the new Steyning Store and Post Office to be here for the community, and to continue to support the High Street with all its wonderful independent shops and businesses" Vanessa & Jed, Julia and Malcolm.
Although the Post Office will remain open throughout, the Steyning Store will shortly be having a makeover and will then re-open with a brand new retail offering.
Julia is a patron of the Horsham and District Year of Culture and will be performing in a show called The Gruffalo, the Witch and the Warthog during the autumn half-term – at Horsham’s Capitol Theatre on 28th and 29th October and at the Theatre Royal, Winchester, on October 31st and November 1st and 2nd.