The long-serving postmaster of Battersea Bridge post office was joined by family and colleagues to celebrate over 40 years of service in the job recently.

Hasmukh Parikh surely cemented his legendary status in the community when he was presented with a special token of gratitude from the post office alongside his partner and co-worker Urvashi.

The milestone was passed in June last year but Covid-19 restrictions forced an unfortunate postponement of the festivities until now.

The pair took over the small but essential post office on Battersea Bridge Road back in June 1980, adding a convenience store alongside via a significant extension.

Since then the establishment has continued reliably for residents in the area. Hasmukh even continued to serve customers during the worst moments of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, despite his asthma, serving customers from behind a full-screened counter.

Wandsworth Times:

"I have lots of loyal customers including pensioners and people collecting their benefits, I needed to be here for them. Many people came in to send parcels to people that they could not see and there was lots more home shopping returns than normal. Customers were really appreciative that my branch had stayed open, whereas other branches and most shops were closed too," Postmaster Hasmukh said.

"The best thing about running a Post Office is the people that you meet. There are so many different people, then as it is London you get lots of new people too. You can help to brighten up someone’s day if they live alone and not had anyone to talk to, or they might be feeling down or depressed or have health concerns. A chat with them can make them feel a little better or less lonely. This is an important part of my role as Postmaster," he added.

Post Office Area Manager Manish Mehta joined in the celebrations, acknowledging Hasmukh's unique contribution to the trade: "The last 18 months have been really tough with the pandemic, but they were determined to keep Battersea Bridge Post Office open to continue to provide essential services to their community. I want to congratulate and sincerely thank Hasmukh and Urvashi for their long and devoted Post Office service. I am really pleased that they have now got to celebrate more than 40 years’ service with their family," he said.