Much-loved Great Bowden postmaster Nicky Ransome is lining up a well-deserved holiday after selling her iconic business – one of the oldest shops in Harborough.
Nicky, 56, has sold 172-year-old Welton’s in the Harborough village after running it alongside her husband Milan, 65, for 12 years.
She has been given a tremendous send-off by villagers grateful for all the tireless work they have put in throughout the two-year Covid pandemic serving the tight-knit community.
“The last two years have been hard, absolutely relentless,” Nicky told the Harborough Mail.
“We have loved doing our best for the people of Great Bowden and this area.
“But it’s been tough to knock out 10-hour days seven days week, week in week out.
“Milan and I are just enjoying unwinding now and getting our breath back.
“And we’ll look to go away on holiday over the next few weeks all being well and put our feet up for a bit.
“But we’re still waking up at 4am every morning, we’ve just become used to getting up at the crack of dawn!
“It’s just nice not to be full on 24/7 any more after operating the shop and the post office for so long,” admitted Nicky.
“The people here have been so kind.
“They’ve showered us with loads of cards and presents and written such lovely things about us – I never knew they liked me so much!
“There’s also been a lot of tears of emotion,” said the indomitable entrepreneur.
“We have had a fantastic time here.
“We are proud to have battled through such a hard two years supporting our community.
“As well as being a shop and a post office I’d like to think we became a thriving social hub as well - many people popped in for a natter and a catch-up.
“We’d like to thank our incredible customers for their loyalty and backing as well as our eight staff and six paperkids for their support.
“They have all been amazing,” said Nicky, who’s living with her sister near Stamford for now.
“It’s been a horrendous time for all of us.
“But we quickly adjusted and have come through the other side.”
Ironically Nicky said she had sold her Victorian store, deli and tearoom on The Green just days before Covid-19 struck the nation in March 2020.
“We were due to complete the sale on Tuesday March 31 – just days after the first coronavirus lockdown was imposed.
“We were going to go away, see our family and think about what to do next.
“Covid put paid to that,” she said.
“But I believe in fate.
“And I fear that if we had sold it on to a new owner then they’d have struggled to stay afloat during such a challenging time.
“We have now passed Welton’s on to a local man Jonathan Farrell, who’s lived in Great Bowden for some years,” said Nicky.
“I stayed on for an extra week to help show him the ropes and guide him into it.
“He’s a smashing man, dedicated to this village, and I’ve got every faith in him making a huge success of it.
“It’s onwards and upwards for Jonathan – and as for me and Milan, the world is our oyster!”