FROM fire crackers to lolly frenzies, business at the North Albury post office has been about much more than stamp sales.
The store on the corner of Mate and Fallon streets has been an institution, but after 5pm next Wednesday it will be no more.
Building owners and Australia Post licensees Jim and Shirley Crawford are retiring, following nearly 36 years of trading, having taken over the enterprise in January 1986.
The couple lived in an adjoining home for 35 of those years with now adult children Kate and Tom growing up in what was a mini grocery and holidays limited to four days at Easter.
Now the Crawfords have decided it's time to stop work.
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"I'm 74 and going to be 75 next year, I want to enjoy a bit of retirement," Mr Crawford said.
"It's no good being carried out in a box."
Speaking of boxes, the rise of online shopping has seen parcels proliferate at the post office.
"It's like Christmas every week, it's just enormous," Mrs Crawford said.
While The Border Mail is interviewing the Crawfords, a regular customer hands over two parcels for sending and ponders what he will do when the shop closes.
"Next Thursday, I'll probably be banging on your window, swearing at you," he says.
The couple have been inundated with well-wishers and some have promised to bring beer and champagne for the last day of trading.
A constant source of revenue has been students from surrounding schools who arrive for a 15-minute burst of lolly-buying each day after classes.
Students were once the trigger for a police visit to the shop.
Mr Crawford recalled them asking about him selling throwdown fire crackers, because apparently a teacher's car had been the victim of a prank involving the bangers.
Fireworks, along with a big rack of cigarettes which once hung from the ceiling, are long gone.
"The biggest change was the supermarkets going seven days a week and the service stations selling milk and papers, it really hit the corner stores," Mrs Crawford said.
The post office opened 7.30am to 7.30pm seven days a week when the Crawfords started and now runs from 8am to 6pm on weekdays.
Australia Post is seeking a new licensee, but the existing building will not be used because it requires changes for disabled access which the Crawfords were protected from investing in because of a grandfather clause.
As well as family holiday, Mrs Crawford will use retirement to continue her craftwork which she has sold at markets and displays in the Mate Street window of the shop.
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