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Post Office protest song launched

PUBLISHED: 08:00 21 May 2008 | UPDATED: 08:58 13 July 2010

It harks back to the days of Vera Lynn and the Home Guard but is carrying a very modern musical message for Post Office bosses.

Hot on the heals of a mass protest which saw more than half the population of East Runton take to the streets, villagers have recorded a protest song as part of the campaign to keep their post office open.

By DOMINICCHESSUM

dominic.chessum@archant.co.uk

It harks back to the days of Vera Lynn and the Home Guard but is carrying a very modern musical message for Post Office bosses.

Hot on the heels of a mass protest which saw more than half the population of East Runton take to the streets, villagers have recorded a protest song as part of the campaign to keep their post office open.

After a frantic 24 hours of recording and producing at a studio in Bowthorpe, Norwich, the song has been released this morning and can be downloaded free from an official website set up to distribute it.

Song writer and organiser Andreas Yiasimi only came up with the idea two weeks ago and it has been a race to the finish to get the song out before the end of the public consultation on the Post Office closure programme on June 2.

He is hoping to get air play on local radio stations as well as using the internet to spread the "fight for you post office" message.

"I am calling this Post Aid," he said.

"I was thinking about Live Aid and thought if Bob Geldof can do that then why can't we do something like it for the Post Office. It is not the scale that matters it is getting the message across."

Mr Yiasimi has called the special song he has penned Dad's Army in recognition of the fact that many of the people who depend most on local Post Office branches fought for their country during the war.

He said: "I got the idea from talking to someone on the protest march and I am a great lover of all the songs that inspired our nation such as those of Vera Lynn.

"This is the first song I have written in eight or 10 years. I never thought I would be writing a song like this but it just goes to show how important this issue is.

"If it makes the slightest bit of difference it has been worth doing."

With a catchy chorus and three verses Mr Yiasimi hopes the single might well catch on and serve as a rallying cry for anti-closure protestors around the country.

The chorus goes: "We are Dad's Army, you must be barmy, this post office is all we have to show.

"You cannot take our shop away, we need it for a rainy day, it breaks my heart when you say it has to close."

East Runton post office is one of the 53 branches in the county facing the axe under proposals by Post Office Ltd.

Locals say it is a vital lifeline which must be saved and sub-postmaster Steve Bacon has received no end of support in his campaign to keep it open.

He said: "It just goes to show that whatever people can do they will do to save this branch," he said.

"I would like to thank everybody for what they have done so far but would urge everyone to keep writing letters and to sign the petition for a final push."

There is now less than three weeks left of the official consultation period on the 69 closure proposals for Norfolk and west Suffolk.

Though Post Office bosses have warned that 69 is a non-negotiable figure, and stated that if one branch is saved another must shut, Norfolk County Council has offered a glimmer of hope to communities with offices on the hit list.

Last week, council leader Daniel Cox confirmed the authority is to look at whether it could take similar steps to Essex County Council and pump money into braches to help keep them open. But the idea still has many hurdles to overcome including the question of whether it breaches the EU rules on state aid.

Views on the proposed closures should be sent to: National Consultation Team, Post Office Ltd, Freepost Consultation Team.

The Dad's Army song can be downloaded from www.myspace.com/ eastrunton

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