It was the end of an era as the Windsor Road post office in Douglas closed for good this week.

Phil and Lynda Braidwood bow out after 43 years as sub-postmasters and thanked customers past and present for their valued business over the past four decades.

The Windsor Road post office shut for the final time at 3pm on Wednesday. From 10am on Monday (July 15) counter ad parcel collection services will instead be provided at the Spar on Westmoreland Road.

Mannin Retail Ltd has been awarded the contract to provide postal services at the Westmoreland Road Spar until the end of March next year, with the option to extend it for a further year.

Phil and Lynda Braidwood began as sub-postmasters at Windsor Road on January 29, 1981.

In a message to customers they said: ‘We thank you not only for your loyal custom but also for the kindness and friendship we have experienced and enjoyed over so many years.

‘We have been very touched and humbled by the good wishes, lovely cards, gifts and heartfelt personal messages we have received recently.

‘We leave with heavy hearts but so very many happy memories.

‘We also owe a debt of immense gratitude to all our wonderful staff who have supported and helped us, some of very-longstanding service. We certainly couldn’t have done it without them ad we are exceedingly grateful to them all.

‘Thanks are due also to the many postmen and ladies who have collected from Windsor Road and assisted us since 1981.’

They added: ‘It has been a great privilege for us to have been part of the network of sub-post offices in the island from back in its heyday, when they were regarded as important local social hubs and not just as places offering postal services - a network that is now, sadly, greatly diminished.

‘We have been extremely honoured and proud to have served the local community for so long. We will miss you all.’

Mr Braidwood was a member of Tynwald for 20 years and served as Minister in the departments of Home Affairs and Transport.

He was first elected as MHK for Douglas East in a by-election in 1995 and retained that seat in 1996, 2001 and 2006 before standing for the Legislative Council in 2010. He served as an MLC until 2015.

Chairman of the Post Office, Stu Peters MHK, said: ‘I would like to place on record our grateful thanks to the outgoing sub postmistress Lynda for the services she and her team have provided on our behalf and that of our commercial partners for 43 years.’

Counter services will be provided at the Westmoreland Road Spar from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 12 noon on Saturdays.

Meanwhile, parcel collection services will be available from 8am to 7pm Monday to Sundays, including bank holidays.