Villagers are celebrating after a shopkeeper has fulfilled his pledge to reopen a post office which has been closed for four years.

Pensioners in Bradley have faced a three-mile journey to Skipton to collect their pensions since the sub-post office in the village shop closed.

But when Bill Kirkpatrick moved into Bradley Village Store, he also vowed to reopen the post office.

"The first day I took over the shop I had a number of people asking when I was going to re-open the post office. There are a large number of elderly people in the village and they felt deprived. It meant they had to travel into Skipton for the service," said 55-year-old Mr Kirkpatrick.

Now local people can collect pensions, buy stamps, pay bills and even get banking services, said the former BT worker who runs the shop with wife Pat, 52.

The post office is to be officially re-opened next Thursday by Bradley Parish Council Chairman Councillor Bill Dobbs and 89-year-old Elsie Walton, who lives opposite.

Pensioner, Alice Dobbs of Heath Drive, Bradley, said: "We have transferred our pension back to the post office so we can support the shop.

"We feel it is important to support local businesses to preserve the life of the village. When we came here 32 years ago there were a number of shops, including a butchers.

"We can now pay our television licence, electricity bill and make use of the other facilities. I think it will be a lot of benefit to elderly people in the village.''

The office will open on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, from 9am to 12.30pm.

Post Office Counters retail network manager June Fox, said: "We are delighted to restore the post office service in Bradley thanks to Mr Kirkpatrick, who has come forward to take it on."

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