South of Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine has appealed for a “white knight” to save the world’s oldest Post Office.

 Sanquhar Post Office – the oldest continually operating post office in the world – has been put up for sale by Post Office Ltd.

If it cannot be saved the “oldest post office” title will go to Sweden.

Ms McAlpine, who successfully fought to save the Post Office from a previous threat of closure said:

“It’s a bitter irony that Sanquhar could lose its historic Post Office for want of a buyer when we know now the UK government sold Royal Mail off to its pals in The City at £1 billion below its true value”

“City financiers refer to individuals who save threatened companies as “white knights”. Sanquhar needs a white knight to save the Post Office. After 302 years it is still a viable business with great potential as a tourist attraction. It was used by Robert Burns in his day. It would be tragedy if it was to close.

“Sanquhar is a Royal Burgh and a town that is full of history. There is a marvellous arts centre, A’ the Airts right next to a Robert Adam designed tollbooth, which is now the town museum. It even has its own distinctive knitting pattern which is admired by designers the world over.”

Royal Mail Ltd requested the closure of the post office at Sanquhar last year, prompting SNP MSP Ms McAlpine to intervene.

In a letter to Chief Executive Ms Moya Greene In February of last year Ms McAlpine said:

“The closure of the Post Office would be a huge loss for Scotland, and the UK, as the title of the World’s Oldest Post Office would transfer to Stockholm”

“Closure would also mean the loss of two full time and part time jobs in an area that already suffers from high unemployment.”

The Royal Mail subsequently backed down. The current threat to the Post Office came after the present owners decided to sell. 

Commenting today, Ms McAlpine said:

“The initial request by Royal Mail Ltd to close the branch against a back drop where the organisation increased its profits from £12 million to £144 million last year left a very sour taste.”

“But the Post Office survived that threat.  We now need to find a buyer to ensure it is not lost for good.”