Val's first class send-off
AFTER three happy decades at a Dagenham post office a popular grandmother has retired and is heading for the Yorkshire Dales. Valerie McVeigh has served her final customer at the Goresbrook Road branch, where she has worked since it first opened in 1979.
AFTER three happy decades at a Dagenham post office a popular grandmother has retired and is heading for the Yorkshire Dales.
Valerie McVeigh has served her final customer at the Goresbrook Road branch, where she has worked since it first opened in 1979.
At the age of 65 Valerie, who lost her husband last year, has decided it's time to start a new life in the rural town of Harrogate, where she can be closer to her daughter and grandchildren.
Looking back over her many years at the Post Office she said: "It's been such a sociable place to work, which is something I will miss.
"I particularly remember the times when the pensioners still used the old-fashioned pensioners' books.
"Every Thursday at 8.30am they'd all arrive and sit down on the chairs. Then everyone would have a good old chat. There was a real sense of community. It was lovely."
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Valerie, who has always lived in the borough, acknowledges the Post Office has seen some dramatic changes during her three decades.
"When I started working there you used to have write everything down, but now it's all computerised.
"It's good for us as it's less time consuming, but it's been very difficult for a lot of the pensioners.
"Many of the things which we would have done for them, are supposed to be fixed online now.
"But a lot of older people don't have computers, which has caused some problems."
She nonetheless remains positive about the future of the Post Office.
As a big thank you to Valerie some of her most loyal customers threw a farewell bash at St Martin's Church Hall in Dagenham last week.
Postmaster Anil Devkaran, who has worked with Valerie for 25 years, told the POST: "Customers really like her, as she is always very friendly and helpful.
"She'll be missed by a lot of people, including us at the Post office. She was like one of the family."
Valerie describes working with Anil and the rest of the team as a 'pleasure', adding: "I will be sad to say goodbye to the post office and Dagenham, but I have lots of happy memories to take with me.