Highlands & Islands

Britain's longest-serving postmistress Esther Brauer retires

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionPostmistress retires after 61-year career

Britain's longest-serving postmistress has retired after 61 years.

Esther Brauer, 83, ran the business, first from her home in Kylesku in Sutherland, and for the last 31 years from a wooden shed in her garden.

She said she had finally made up her mind to stand down because of her computer "going doolally".

Mrs Brauer started working in 1953 and over the years has seen the introduction of postcodes and decimalisation.

Image caption Mrs Brauer usually sold about 100 stamps in a year

From her 6ft by 8ft (1.8m by 2m) shed in the remote north west Highlands, 89 miles (144km) from the nearest city, Inverness, she handled five to six letters on a busy day.

She also sold about 100 stamps each year.

Mrs Brauer provided a six-days-a-week service and last year was awarded a long service award from the Post Office.

She said: "I don't feel 83 to be honest. It sounds stupid to say it, I am just 23 in my head."

On her technology problems, she said: "The computer's gone all doolally. It was distressing me."

Image caption The 83-year-old has now officially closed the business

With her husband Walter, 87, she plans to make the most of her retirement.

She said: "I think my husband and I will go away more often.

"I think we will travel quite a bit, but I don't know where at the moment."

Image caption Mrs Brauer plans to spend her retirement travelling with her 87-year-old husband

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites