Colyton says farewell to popular store owners

Crowds brave the rain to wish Tony and Sylvia Hibberd a happy retirement

COLYTON residents turned out in heavy rain to say a fond farewell to shopkeepers Tony and Sylvia Hibberd yesterday (Wednesday).

The couple are retiring after more than three decades of running the popular town centre stores.

But despite the dark clouds that hung over the presentation ceremony there was a bright forecast for the future of the town’s post office, which is losing its long-time home there.Although RD Hibberd and sons will close as a newsagents and stationers, the post office will, after a brief gap, resume temporary operations at Hibberds, before hopefully relocating to a permanent new base in the vacant shop opposite.

Tributes to Mr Hibberd and his wife were led by Chairman of Colyton Feoffees Dr Mike Askew, who later presented them with a cheque in appreciation of their years of service since arriving in town in 1969.

Mr Hibberd also received a luxury recliner chair from Pam Rattray, on behalf of the community, and Mrs Hibberd was given a bouquet of flowers by the chairman of Colyton Link, Wendy Cann.

Later ‘Save Colyton Post Office’ group spokeswoman Jane Dauncey revealed the good news about the service’s future in the town.

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She told the gathering it had been agreed that following Hibberds’ closure the post office service would reopen in the same building on July 4, with a temporary post master.

The opening hours will continue as at present and people will still be able to buy their car tax there.

In the meantime she said plans were forging ahead to relocate it permanently to The Little Shop opposite – a similar sized premises which were expected to open as a newsagents and stationers store some time next month.

She added: “We do hope that we can achieve this and in the meanwhile Colyton will continue to have a PO service in the centre of the town. We are very pleased that Tony can retire knowing that there the PO service in Colyton is continuing.”