A GWENT man is celebrating forty years of serving the community in Blaenau Gwent.

Garth Collier, now 72, has been serving as postmaster in the borough for 40 years.

He began his working life as a builder but decided to have a more stable income as his wedding to Julia, now 64, was approaching - so in November 1981, the couple began working at Brynithel Post Office.

They ran the branch together and a decade later, took over the bigger branch of Blaina.

The couple ran both branches for three years.

Mr Collier said: “The best thing about running a Post Office is the people that you meet. I really like helping people and so does Julia and our staff. We are all very like-minded. We go way above helping people because we really care about our community.

“We do offer a great service – that’s not being big-headed, that is what our customers tell us. We are here for people when they have problems. We really listen to people, and we give them our personal advice. It is very important to be good listeners.

“During the pandemic the community was absolutely superb – we had no issues at all. Most people wore masks, but those that didn’t would wait by the door until we gave them the ok to come in, then others would then wait until they had left. People were very considerate.

“We were very busy during the pandemic, especially with parcels and banking. People wanted to stay local. They were sending parcels to people that they could not see and returning lots of home shopping items.”


Mr Collier has also been an independent councillor for Blaenau Gwent for 12 years.

He was presented with his Postmaster 40 Years’ service award by Post Office area manager Joe Francis.

Mr Francis said: “Garth and Julia have been dedicated to serving in Blaina and Brynithel for 40 years. They are very well respected. They are king and committed. They always go the extra mile.”

Mr Collier recently suffered a stroke and the couple have decided to put their Post Office on the market so that they are able to enjoy retirement.

Their Post Office also sells cards and stationery as well as coach holidays as an agent for local coach companies. They think it would be a perfect location for someone to add a café at the heart of the community.