Patriotic Postmistress, Leslie Francis, is putting up decorations galore at Enham Alamein Post Office for the King’s Coronation and is organising a community street party to mark the special Royal occasion.
There are flags, bunting and balloons at the SPAR Village store and Post Office, near Andover, which Leslie and her husband Tim have run for 18 years.
There is also a special Coronation plaque outside the shop 17 Newbury Road, Enham Alamein to accompany the one for last year’s Platinum Jubilee and the VE (Victory in Europe) Day 75th anniversary celebration in May 2020.
Leslie, who is chair of the Parish Council, is helping to organise a Coronation street party outside the shop on the Monday – the Coronation Bank Holiday.
Over her time as Postmistress, Leslie had organised many big community get-togethers and they bring lots of joy to the community.
Postmistress Leslie Francis said: “We love being part of this community. It has been an eventful few years. The people of Enham Alamein love to mark special occasions. A year ago, I was busy planning for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. It’s really sad that the Queen has passed – she was much loved and respected. Now it is time to celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III.”
In the last New Year’s Honour list, Leslie received the British Empire Medal. This was recently presented to her at an awards ceremony in Winchester with the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire. This recognition was for her work providing services to her historic community.
Now Leslie and Tim have also been invited to a Royal Garden party at Buckingham Palace just after the Coronation.
In World War II many of the injured from the famous Battle of El Alamein were brought back to the UK. Many were cared for at a recovery centre in the village of Lower Enham, which was re-named because of its special war-time ties.
Enham Trust is a leading disability charity supporting people to transition towards independent living. Enham Alamein village remains a centre for charity work and supporting others.
The close-knit village has many elderly residents and people with disabilities, When Leslie & Tim took over the shop and they widened the aisles to make it easier for customers in wheelchairs or walking sticks and frames.
Leslie and Tim have found many ways to improve the lives of people in Enham Alamein.
In February 2020, before the first lockdown they handed out notes to the 250 homes in the village saying ‘If you can’t get out, don’t go without’ and they introduced doorstep deliveries. That May they organised a socially-distanced VE Day celebration, with people enjoying a War Time tribute act.
They also bring cheer to the community with their Facebook page with fun photos and videos. They have even performed in music videos for the past two Christmases.