Ian Bainbridge

Harrogate Postmaster marks 50 years serving Post Office customers

7 June 2024
  • Ian Bainbridge marks 50 years serving Post Office customers
  • Owner of Oatlands Mount Post Office & Harrogate Models shop
  • First served at parents’ South Croft Post Office in Leeds

Oatlands Mount postmaster, Ian Bainbridge, who is also well-known for his Harrogate Models business, has reached his 50 years’ milestone serving Post Office customers.

In his retail alongside his branch, he started selling a few models alongside cards and stationery, then he started getting requests for different kits, and this side of the business then grew and grew.

Because of the demand, upstairs was also converted into the shop and stocks everything from trains, cars, planes and boats and remote control vehicles, plus accessories. The first floor is now dedicated to Harrogate Models.


Postmaster, Ian Bainbridge, said:

I managed to stay open throughout the pandemic and it was really busy. Customers wanted to send parcels to people that they could not see and do home shopping returns.

People also had a lot more time on their hands to make model kits, or to enjoy remote control vehicles, so we sold a lot more on the model side of the business with both existing and new customers. Parents wanted something that their children could do rather than being on their electronic devices all the time, so they suggested hobbies that they had enjoyed as children. People also looked for something to do other than jigsaw puzzles with their unexpected spare time.



Ian had enjoyed making the occasional model as a child, but he never expected to become a postmaster or the owner of a model shop at 67 Leeds Road, Harrogate, HG2 8BE.

His brother had become an airline pilot and he planned to follow in his footsteps, but his parents ran Post Office in South Croft, Leeds, needed help to run the business. He worked there from 1974 until May 1987 before taking on Oatlands Mount Post Office.


Ian said:

I have really enjoyed my time serving Post Office customers and running Harrogate Models and getting to know people better. Many people that I have served have become friends. There always new people popping in from across the UK as there are not as many model shops these days.


A Post Office 50 Years’ Long Service Award has been presented to Ian in appreciation of his important role in the community.


Post Office Area Manager, Amy Hart, said:

I want to sincerely thank Ian for serving Post Office customers for five decades. He has been at the heart of this Oatlands Mount for 37 years providing a great service for the local community, but with the retail side of Ian’s business, people also travel here from far and wide.


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