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'I'll boycott post office' - rock star

PUBLISHED: 09:53 03 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:27 12 July 2010

Rock legend Rick Wakeman has threatened to boycott the Post Office if his local branch is closed by conducting all his business online.

Mr Wakeman, keyboard player with legendry 70s rock group Yes and star of BBC 2 programme Grumpy Old Men, is refusing to use the main branch at Diss if a smaller branch at nearby Scole is closed.

Rock legend Rick Wakeman has threatened to boycott the Post Office if his local branch is closed by conducting all his business online.

Mr Wakeman, keyboard player with legendry 70s rock group Yes and star of BBC 2 programme Grumpy Old Men, is refusing to use the main branch at Diss if a smaller branch at nearby Scole is closed.

Scole Post Office and Stores is among 69 branches in Norfolk and West Suffolk which could be axed under the Post Office's controversial closure plans - a move which Mr Wakeman has branded “disgraceful”.

The musician said that he and his fiancée Rachel Kaufman had estimated they spend between £6,000 and £10,000 a year through mailing newsletters to fans and paying bills at their nearest branch.

“To close any post office is nuts. It is the break-up of rural life,” he said yesterday.

“We used to have a system where every village was connected to a main town by train or trams or buses, but that no longer exists. Now people have to get in their cars and drive, which we are being told not to do.

“We have become a nation run entirely by accountants and if anything doesn't make the bottom line it has to go. It is farcical.

“Obviously some parts of any business are not going to be cost effective but they are still an important part of making the whole thing work.”

Mr Wakeman praised the efforts of Scole sub postmistress Kim Charles who has fought to keep the branch open.

“I know Scole post office is incredible busy and I know Kim personally picks up and delivers 40 plus pensions to people who cannot get out,” he said. “What will happen to them?

“Scole already has a population of around 2000 and the village is about to have more housing. More people are coming in and yet we are being threatened with the loss of our post office. It is ridiculous.”

He added: “We send a lot of recorded delivery stuff through the post and I pay my bills there because it is very convenient.

“If it is forced to close I would have to get in the car and travel to Diss, which I am not going to do. We put about 4000 newsletters a year in the post costing about £1 a time. If the store closes I will tell the people who run it to do it online. I will also pay my bills online.”

Mr Wakeman is so disillusioned with the decline of village life that he has vowed not to vote in any local or national elections until a political party comes forward that promises to stand up for British life.

“I have had it with politics until someone stands up and says we are the Britain first party,” he said.

Mr Wakeman signed a petition supporting Scole post office and said that he would continue to do anything he could to help them.

“The farcical thing is that I know Scole post office is a financially viable post office,” he said.

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