Catherine franks her last letter after nearly 40 years serving in Templehall

Catherine Matthew is retiring after 38 years working in the same pot office in Templehall. Pics: Steve Brown
Catherine Matthew is retiring after 38 years working in the same pot office in Templehall. Pics: Steve Brown

When Catherine Matthew first got behind the counter of Templehall post office in 1977 the price of a first class stamp would cost you just 8 1/2p.

Now, some 38 eventful years later, that same stamp would cost you 63p but would, until Friday, have been sold to you by the same friendly and helpful Catherine.

But after nearly four decades serving the Templehall community from the same post office counter as the first day she started, Catherine has franked her last letter and paid out the last pension and is ready to put her feet up and enjoy her retirement.

And despite her obvious love of the job, Catherine said she’s most looking forward to a well earned lie in bed.

“I’ve had many happy times here and worked with and served some wonderful people over the years, but I must admit I’ll enjoy getting up when I like,” Catherine laughed.

Asked how her job had changed over the years, she said the role was now easier than when she started.

Computers have made a huge difference to the job

Catherine Matthew

“As you would expect computers have made a huge difference to the job, years ago you had to work it all out for yourself and everything was done by hand,” she explained.

“But essentially the job has remained the same as when I started, which is good because It’s been a pleasure serving the various characters and faces over the years,” she added.

Catherine now plans to spend her new found free time spending it with her grandchildren and enjoying a taking the dog out for long walks.

“The grand children will come first but I might take on some home improvements and DIY now that I have the time, I can’t wait,” she said.

Over 38 years of faithful service

When Catherine embarked on her career at Templehall post office in 1977 the country was preparing to celebrate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee.

The Labour Party’s Jim Callaghan was Prime Minister and a young Margaret Thatcher was leader of the opposition Conservative Party.

At the pumps a litre of petrol would set you back 18p, a TV licence would cost you £8 for b/w and £18 for colour and the average UK weekly wage was £17.65.