BOSCOMBE East Post Office and Phillips News celebrated their 60th birthday on Friday, as loyal customers were treated to free coffee and cake in the shop.

The store was bought by Trevor Phillips, 87, in 1959 after he saw an advert for it in the Birmingham Mail.

Trevor said: “My in-laws retired to Highcliffe and I spent a few holidays here and thought I’d like to live in Bournemouth.

“My eldest son and my wife and I came down on a motorbike with a side car and bought the property."

Although Trevor couldn’t remember how much he bought the shop for, his son, Adam, estimated it to be approximately £5,000.

Trevor continued: “The Boscombe area is still falling by the wayside. Where we had all kinds of shops. It was like a local village but all that’s gone. From here to the Sovereign Centre was known as the golden mile but that’s all changed now.

“I couldn’t (see myself being here for this long). My wife passed away in 1981, I have three lads and it was inconvenient for me to run the business and look after the children as well.”

The post office only has a few staff, including Trevor’s son Adam, 43, and Gwen Battrick, 93.

Adam said: “I was born in Boscombe and I’ve grown up with this shop. I have worked here virtually all my life.

“There’s three brothers and I’m the only one who works here, we’re all so proud of him (Trevor) and how he’s coped with everything. I was five years old when Mum died, and he’s carried on with the help of some really loyal staff over the years.

“The area's gone downhill over the years. We get a lot of problems with theft, it’s a constant battle, but we learn to cope with it and don’t let it get us down.”

This positive spirit is perhaps the reason why the post office still has many loyal customers.

Michelle Davies, 68, still uses the shop to post her letters, despite moving to Wallisdown.

Michelle said: “I moved to Parkwood Road in 2002. Three years ago I moved to Wallisdown but I still come here because they’re just so lovely.

“You should support local businesses. They’re so friendly and nothing is ever too much trouble for them.

“They sell everything, I don’t think there’s anything you can’t get in here.”