A much-loved postmaster has retired after 25 years at the helm of his shop in Redditch. 

Alan Beasley, who worked at Crabbs Cross Post Office, retired on February 29 after more than two decades of service in the village. 

The Tipton-born man has spent his whole life working in retail and started his career at a newsagents in Bromsgrove.

After ten years, he then took over his first Post Office at the Cherry Orchard Branch in Worcester before selling the business ten years later to move closer to his sister in Redditch. 

Mr Beasley said: "I took to the role of postmaster like a duck to water. I have really loved being a postmaster. 

"I have only taken one day off sick in the past 35 years when I had a migraine as I didn't want to let my customers down. 

"I managed to open during the pandemic. It was bonkers busy as people wanted to stay local, send parcels galore and do their banking. I think that people also wanted to come in to see a friendly face." 

Mr Beasley had reduced his opening hours ahead of his retirement to spend more time with his elderly father who sadly died just eight days before his 100th birthday. 

His dad was Edward Alan, or "Old Alan", and was affectionately known as the "oldest tea boy" bringing drinks for his son and his staff from his nearby home until he was 98. 

Mr Beasley said his father was a big horse racing fan and could ask any customer for their year of birth and tell them which horse had won the Derby that year. 

The retired postmaster is staying local and looking to do voluntary work at the Salvation Army charity next door as well as enjoying more time to play golf and go fishing. 

Mr Beasley said: "I have prided myself in running a good office. I like to help people. I'm a people person and I get great satisfaction in helping people especially the vulnerable. 

"I am really going to miss serving my customers. They are sad that I'm leaving but relieved that new retailers will take over the Post Office."

Post Office area manager, Mat Wilkes, said: "Alan has been the pillar of this community for 35 years. He has really gone above and beyond for his community and he is very popular. 

"I really want to thank him for his long and loyal service to the people of Crabbs Cross since 1998." 

The current branch closed on Thursday, February 29, but the final preparations are now underway for the replacement branch which opens on Thursday, April 4 at 1pm at Simply Fresh on Evesham Road, Redditch. 

In the interim alternative branches include Mason Road and Mount Pleasant.