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Mottingham postmaster's 30 years behind the counter
A Mottingham postmaster whose son was born above her shop has marked 30 years behind the counter.
Nirmaljit Chatta's three children even grew up playing in the Court Road post office, which she says has become more than just a business over the decades.
She started at Greenford aged 19, taking over the Mottingham branch six years later in 1984, selling children’s clothing and sewing materials alongside postal services.
The 49-year-old said: "Becoming a subpostmaster and living above the post office allowed me to have more time with my kids.
"My son was born here and when the children were very young they used to play in the stockroom where I could keep an eye on them while serving customers."
She went on: "Many of the children who used to visit the post office with their parents now have children of their own and I’m always trying to teach the little ones my name.
"A lot of children seem to know me either from working on the counter or talks I’ve done about India at the local school."
The branch was modernised this year, and Ms Chatta admitted that computerisation had caused her some problems.
She said: "I’d never used a computer before the introduction of the Post Office’s system, so it took me a while to get the hang of the new way of doing things.
"When I started with the Post Office we had to use ledgers to record everything and any maths was done in your head or with a calculator."
Field change advisor for the Post Office Merwyn Anthony presented her with an award for long service this month. He said: "Nirmaljit’s long service is an inspiration – it’s the kind of commitment that the Post Office is very proud of."
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