Finchingfield Post Office could be named a winner in the Rural Oscar awards

Finchingfield Post Office when it was modernised and re-opened in 2012, in the centre in red T-shirt

Finchingfield Post Office when it was modernised and re-opened in 2012, in the centre in red T-shirts are Alex Robinson and Jane Welsh. Picture: STUART HOWAT - Credit: Archant

Finchingfield Post Office and Village Store could be up for national glory having been named as a finalist in the Rural Oscars.

The shop, which specialises in local produce, including locally-made wine, gin, beer and award-winning beef, also displays work by local artists. It is in the regional finals for East Anglia.

The Countryside Alliance Awards, now in their 13th year, celebrate skill and enterprise in small, hard-working businesses.

This year, there were more than 11,000 nominations in five categories, all put forward by their customers.

Finchingfield Post Office, in Bardfield Road, is in the village shop/post office category.

The other nominees in this group are Alwalton Village Post Office Stores in, Alwalton, Peterborough, Itteringham Village Shop in Norwich, and Otley Village Stores in Ipswich.

Finchingfield Post Office and Village Store is run jointly by Alex Robinson and Jane Welsh who opened it in January 2011.

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They moved to the village, having led very different professional lives in Highgate in North London.

Alex taught computer skills to teachers and Jane was a manager for Waterstones in Piccadilly.

Alex said: “It’s lovely. We are delighted and we want to thank our customers.

“We feel that we have already won. We think we were nominated initially by one of our suppliers, then other customers supported the nomination.

“We sell local produce including locally made bread and wine. We support local suppliers and they support us.”

The next stage of the competition will involve a round where judges visit the winners of the regional heat.

The national final will be in March at the Houses of Parliament.

Countryside Alliance Awards director Sarah Lee said: “This has been a record year for nominations, showing how much the public values and supports our hard-working rural businessmen and women.

“For these finalists to get this far is already an exceptional achievement and I look forward to meeting them as judging gets underway.

“The Rural Oscars were set up to champion those who go the extra mile for their communities and it is an honour to offer a voice to rural business in this way.”