The husband and wife team who run the Wood Street Post Office in Penarth and the well-known Ludlow Lane shop ‘Hamptons’ have both been nominated to receive Penarth Town Council’s first-ever Outstanding Citizen Awards.
John and Marianne Guppy, who’ve run Penarth’s Wood Street Post Office for 33 years, had no idea they’d been nominated for the award until the received official notification this weekend.
Their daughter Sandra Guppy says her parents ‘keep themselves to themselves’ but nevertheless frequently go to extraordinary lengths to help their customers.
Sandra says that often if an elderly person fails to turn up to collect their pension at the Post Office, John and Marianne – who are both themselves in their seventies – will call around at their customer’s home to make sure that everything is OK. On a number of occasions the two Post Office ‘good samaritans’ have called around to find that an elderly person who’s missed a pension payment is in trouble – and have saved lives by summoning help.
Last year, when postmaster John Guppy called around to check on one pensioner, he found that she had actually been robbed. Mr Guppy has now officially resigned as postmaster at Wood St – but he and his wife won’t be leaving for many months yet.
The nomination for the second Outstanding Citizen Award – to Hamptons in Ludlow Lane – was made in partly in recognition of the firm’s generous gesture in throwing open its store to enable at least part of the aborted Penarth Christmas Festival Event to take place on their premises in November last year.
(The main event in Windsor Road had had to be cancelled at short notice because of torrential rain and gales leaving scores of families with disappointed young children with nowhere to go.)
The Hamptons nomination from the Town Mayor Cllr Rosemary Cook reads:-
“I am delighted to inform you that you have been nominated by Ms Helen Donovan for an Outstanding Citizen Award. This is an honour richly deserved for your hard work, commitment and enthusiasm on behalf of the Community. Specifically your efforts on 29th November 2015 when you salvaged the Christmas festivities when the event was cancelled due to the atrocious weather conditions “
On that day scores of people had come to the town centre to see the Christmas Lights being switched on – unaware that the event had been cancelled a short notice because of the weather .
With the outside stage dismantled and torrential rain sweeping the streets, Hamptons directors invited everyone into their shop, set up facilities for a number of the acts which were to have been seen on stage in Windsor Road to perform for the public in their upstairs restaurant, and provided an alternative dry indoor venue for Father Christmas to fulfill his scheduled appearance and avert any disappointment to local children.
Hamptons said “We are thrilled to receive an Outstanding Citizen award from Penarth Town Council” and thanked Helen Donovan for their nomination.
The Outstanding Citizen award was first promulgated in early December 2015 (see PDN http://tinyurl.com/hpma55y ) . The first round of nominations closed on December 31st 2015 and the next round will close on 31st March 2016 . The award is intended for “those who have made efforts in relation to community spirit, social care, sport or the arts”.
An official presentation cerermony will take place on February 9th.