BLACK and white photographs of Beechworth’s 19th century post office will greet customers at its replacement which opens on Monday.
The new post office at a former shop in Camp Street will operate from 9am, with its predecessor for more than 140 years closing on Friday for the last time.
Australia Post Victorian rural area manager Barbara Young and other staff members were busy yesterday completing the fitout of the new mail hub.
The latest post office has more than double the floor space of the old site, an additional 30 private mail boxes for a total of 681 and an early morning parcel collection area.
Despite being inside the front door, the PO boxes will be accessible around-the-clock with a concertina barrier to separate them from the shop outside 9am to 5pm weekdays.
Images of the old post office and a blurb on postal services at Beechworth adorn a wall above the boxes.
“It’s incorporating the heritage component, showing the history of the Beechworth post office,” Ms Young said of the display.
“It came out of the community engagement sessions we undertook.”
“I think everybody is looking forward to the move down here, now having the full disability access and no longer having to deal with the steps,” Ms Young said.
“It’s a beautiful building but at the same time Post has to ensure we have access for everybody.”
Customers using the corner post office on its last day were pragmatic about the move.
“I suppose its progress,” retired farmer Giff Thompson said.
“I’m not sentimental, you’ve got to move with the times.”
Beechworth citizen Pauline Pund said “it doesn’t really bother me, but it’s different if you are older and you can’t get up the steps”.
Everton resident Nina Norris normally uses the Wangaratta post office, but said it was a “shame” to see the Beechworth landmark become vacant.
Four staff will transfer to the new mail shop.
The fate of the old post office is unclear with its landlord only recently notified of Australia Post’s departure date.
Under heritage rules it is expected wording on the tower stating ‘Beechworth Post Office’ will remain although other signage will be removed.