I suffered a bit of personal loss at the reshuffle of the Fryern Arcade.
The post office has changed hands. A special service that I used to enjoy is now lost.
I went to the Fryern Arcade post office twice recently, to try to buy my special stamps, but was surprised to be told that – “No, we don’t sell those kind of things.”
I thought a post office would sell stamps. My kind of stamps.
Let me explain to you: the stamps I want are the Presentation Packs. I had been buying them for about 10 years, from the post office in Chandler’s Ford. First it was located at Bournemouth Road, and later the post office moved to the Fryern Arcade.
One of the presentation packs looks like this:
I collect new stamps and I buy the Presentation Packs by the Royal Mail. You can buy them online, but I have always been buying them from the local post office. Why? Because I love a little personal touch; I love buying stamps at the counter; I love having a chat with the person who serves me when I collect my stamps; because I love the post office.
In my old diary, I discovered that I had analysed the root of my new hobby:
“I arrived in the cold suburbs of England from London, heavily pregnant, without a friend. Dark hair, yellow skin and speaking English with a funny accent.
Being stuck in the middle of nowhere, I was eager to understand where I stood and trying not to be suffocated. I discovered new British stamps by chance. I somehow indulged in the simple delights of understanding characters and events hidden behind the images. I love the stamps in their clean, elegant presentation packs. These stamps have taken me through generations of the British history and the world’s culture.
These are my precious collections stemmed from a lonely heart. I must have possessed more than 100 packs. I still indulge in them.”
This was not my finest writing, and a rather embarrassing one, but it was a genuine reflection of my thought, as a new-comer in Chandler’s Ford.
In the past, the kind employees of the post office would always keep a presentation pack for me, when new stamps were issued. I would collect them once every few weeks. Inside the plastic cover, I would find my name ‘Janet’ scribbled on a white piece of paper torn by hands. It feels personal. Actually quite a few local people collect and buy new stamps this way – as I could see our names were in a little notebook.
Sometimes I forgot to collect the stamps. Sometimes I delayed collecting them when the post office was too busy, and I would collect the stamps at a later time. My packs were always there waiting for me – even after months. My presentation packs were kept just for me.
When I visited the Fryern Arcade post office a few months ago, I realised that it had changed hands. I asked them again last week, and tried to explain what I wanted and what the stamps normally look like, and that they come in beautiful presentation packs, but I knew that I was not understood.
I’m pretty upset as my collection over the past 10 years has now been interrupted. I don’t even know how many packs I have missed and I need to track them online and hopefully I can buy them from the Royal Mail one day. These are mass-produced stamps and I should be able to buy them rather easily, but it is going to be a hassle.
It’s not how I normally buy my stamps.
I’m upset as buying stamps from the post office from real, smiling people was once a very significant moment in my life in Chandler’s Ford. It was almost a ritual for me. It was my connection with the outside world.
Now what should I do?
Option 1: Shop at the Hiltingbury post office and ask if they would keep new Presentation Packs for me in the future. However, it takes longer for me to get to Hiltingbury. Is the post office willing to keep the new stamps for me? Someone needs to help me find out.
Option 2: Buy online directly from the Royal Mail. Time-saving and efficient. Forget about the personal touch.
Well, here are some of my collections over the past 10 years. They mean a lot to me. I love their beauty, creativity, and the surprises they bring me each time, in this part of the world, which I used to tell my mum, ‘in the middle of nowhere’.
Do scroll down if you would love to see more of these stamps. I’ve been totally captivated. What about you?
I have roughly categorised my collections:
- British Kings and Queens
- War and Peace
- Progress and invention
- British Isles and icons
- So British people
In Literature and Writing, there are:
- Harry Potter
- Roald Dahl
- Royal Shakespeare Company 50 years
- Robert Burns 250th Anniversary (1759-2009)
- Jane Eyre
- Mythical Creatures
- Animal Tales: Favourite children’s book animals
- Charles Dickens
- Winnie the Pooh
In entertainment, there are:
- The Beatles
- Ian Fleming’s James Bond
- Magical Realms
- The Magic Circle’s Centenary Magic!
- Classic Album Covers
- Classic ITV
- Classic Carry On and Hammer Films
Related posts on the Fryern Arcade, Chandler’s Ford:
- Fryern Arcade: Butchers And Post Office
- Fryern Arcade WH Smith Local & Post Office Open – Chandler’s Ford Today
- Fryern Arcade Post Office: Open 7 Days A Week?
- What Had Happened To The Fryern Arcade Public Toilets?
- Fryern Arcade D & G Hardware Store
- Fryern Arcade Old And New
- Fryern Arcade’s Fresh Look: MIBI, D & G
- Fryern Arcade In Chandler’s Ford: Major Changes Are Coming
- Buying Christmas Trees At Fryern Arcade
- “We’re Sorry To Be Leaving Fryern…But…”
- Where Is The Centre Of Chandler’s Ford?
- How I love Your Comments
- Coffee And Free WiFi In Chandler’s Ford
- In Love With Chandler’s Ford Coffee Shops
- D & G Hardware: From Canberra To Chandler’s Ford
- Nostalgia: My Stamp Collection
- The Big Issue In Chandler’s Ford
- The Myth Of Thomas The Tank Engine
- Who Are The Heavenly Knitters in Chandler’s Ford?
- Table Hogging