Former village postmaster and newsagent will be ‘sorely missed’

Brian Claxton during his time as postmaster in Pulborough
Brian Claxton during his time as postmaster in Pulborough

Brian Claxton, who was postmaster of Pulborough Post Office from 1991 to 2001, has died aged 76.

Brian took on the post office with his wife, Sandra, when Post Office Counters was relocating the rural Post offices into existing businesses to save money.

The couple, who had run Pulborough newagents The Chocolate Box from 1979, took over the lease of Selindras in 1983 and in 1991 the post office was transferred from the Royal Mail building opposite.

A few years after it was taken on by a buyer in 2001, the post office was moved to various sites in Pulborough and ended up in the Mace stores (Elite Garages) in London Road.

When Brian retired from the post office, he and Sandra took on a greetings card business until 2006, when they moved to care for Sandra’s sister in St Albans.

After she died in 2011, they decided to move back to West Sussex after being there the best part of 40 years and settled in Storrington.

Brian had a very varied career up to 1979. Growing up, his family ran a fleet of barges and used to live on one of them, the ‘Tom Newbound’ which was later mentioned in a Peter James novel.

He joined the merchant navy in 1957 and travelled much of the world, visiting America, India, the Seychelles, Maldives and Africa and notably was on board the first ship to go through the Suez Canal.

After the navy, Brian returned to work in the family business on the Aire and Calder canal near Castleford, where he started working in a newsagents run by a friend.

He ended up running a newsagents in Edgware, before going to Hemel Hempstead, where he met Sandra after his marriage to his first wife, June, ended.

Brian is survived by his wife and his three children, Julie, Robert and Samantha, and grandchildren Liam, Lee, Star, Ethan, Joel, Emma and Stephen.

Sandra said he was a very special husband, father and grandfather and his presence will be sorely missed by his family and friends.

The funeral was held on Friday, December 15, at Worthing crematorium and was attended by all the Claxton family from Yorkshire and many friends.

Donations can be made to St Barnabas Hospice, care of Tribes at Storrington.