THE postmaster at Pennyburn's post office has been honoured for his service at the branch.

Surjit Batth took over the premises on Sundrum Place 30 years ago this week - and has received an award from the Post Office to mark the occasion.

A lot has changed since Surjit first took over at the Kilwinning business, which he remains committed to even though he no longer lives in the area.

However one thing that has not changed is the manager of the premises, Caroline McQuat, who has now worked at the branch in the Pennyburn Local Centre for 39 years.

Caroline has worked with three different postmasters in her time in Pennyburn, and hailed Surjit for his commitment to the branch over the years.

She commented: “Surjit remains the postmaster and owner of Pennyburn Post Office, but he no longer lives in the area. However, he remains committed to owning Pennyburn Post Office as he knows how important this branch is to this community.

“I moved to this area in 1985 and Pennyburn Post Office has always been at this location at the heart of this community.

"I’ve worked with three different postmasters over my time and Surjit has been the longest owner by far.

"I am the manager and I have lots of great experienced staff, so it works really well. We have lots of loyal customers.

“We managed to keep Pennyburn Post Office open throughout the pandemic as we wanted to maintain essential Post Office services to the community and people wanted to stay local, get their newspapers, cigarettes and groceries from the store.

“We were busy as people wanted to send mail and parcels to those that they could not see, do banking, bill payments and home shopping returns."

While despite being at the other end of the pandemic know, Caroline said that the Post Office remains as important as ever.

She continued: “With more banks closing we have picked up more banking on behalf of all the high street banks. People can also order currencies on line and have them delivered here.

“These days there are lots of parcels that people are collecting from here with the click and collect service.

"People live busy lives and they are not always at home and they don’t want packages left on their doorstep so the parcels are delivered here for pick up.”

Post Office area manager Angela Smith added: “Surjit has been committed to this Pennyburn community for three decades. I really want to thank him and his dedicated staff for providing essential Post Office services to this area of Kilwinning."

Pennyburn Post Office is open seven days a week: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 7am-1.30pm and 2-5pm; Wednesday from 7am-4pm; Saturday from 7am-12.30pm; and Sunday from 7am-12 noon.