Credit: Sarah Dalton

Closure of Danescourt post office marks ‘end of an era’

Love has poured in for the postmistress who has watched the area grow up before her eyes 

RESIDENTS are “gutted” as plans to move the well-loved Danescourt post office into S3 Convenience Store mean the end of an era.

Postmistress Tracy Paynter has acted as “grandmother” of the community since she opened the post office 30 years ago, and has watched three generations of residents grow up. 

Ms Paynter, who was supported in the past by her late mum, now faces health issues and is no longer able to run the post office. 

The official move will happen on February 27 and Ms Paynter is unsure if she will be going with it.

The elderly postmistress has faced ongoing health issues, making it difficult to run the post office she created. Credit: Sarah Dalton

“It was my idea, I’m not being forced out, but I am gutted,” the 63-year-old told The Cardiffian when asked about the decision. 

“I was the first one to open the post office in Danescourt and it’s been the last 30 years of my life. I’ve been here through it all and watched people grow up before my eyes,” she added. 

The postmistress recalls serving sweets to the current Danescourt councillor Peter Huw Jenkins when he was a young school boy. 

Ms Paynter has offered to work in the new post office, located just 20 metres away inside S3 Convenience Store on Danescourt Way, but she is yet to hear back from the owners. 

“This place means so much to me but I just physically can’t do it on my own anymore. If you get me a new pair of legs, I’ll stay,” she laughed. 

The post office is the heart of Danescourt for many residents. Credit: Sarah Dalton

Fond memories and tributes have flooded in from residents in Danescourt’s Facebook group, saying the post office is a major part of the community.

Andrea Kane, a teacher from Danescourt, remembers taking her now-adult children to the post office every week. 

“For many years my children looked forward to Friday after school because it meant a trip to Tracy’s. They would pile in with their friends and spend ages selecting their sweets to hand to Tracy and her lovely mum. 

My children still talk about her now and they are both in their 20s.” 

Peter Huw Jenkins, Labour councillor for Llandaff and Danescourt, had similar memories to share. 

“I remember being a young kid and buying lots of very sugary, tasty sweets from Tracy with my friends. Those happy core memories are built through institutions like the Post Office and I count myself lucky to have them and live in this community,” he told The Cardiffian. 

“I’m so glad to see such an outpouring of support for Tracy. Danescourt has always been at its warmest when the community gets together and makes it clear what and who we value,” he added.

Ms Paynter is known for leaving weekly messages and opening times on the post office window which are shared widely in Danescourt’s Facebook group. Credit: Sarah Dalton

Post Office Limited, which is responsible for the move, said the decision was the most effective way to safeguard local Post Office services in the future. 

“We remain confident that the layout and location of the new branch will continue to meet customer needs and deliver an excellent service,” said Sarah Cottrell, network provision manager for Post Office Limited. 

Councillor Sean Driscoll has also added his own tribute to Danescourt post office and Ms Paynter, who has received 26 messages of admiration in Danescourt Facebook page.

“The post office, managed and run by Tracy and supported in the past by her late mum, has served the community for decades. It is a valued and treasured asset to the community,” said Coun Driscoll. 

“No doubt we’ll continue to see Tracy around the community for a catch-up and chat and the community will continue to love and support her,” he added.