Pat, 60, who became post mistress in 1985 when she was 27, said: “The name of the shop has changed every time it has passed through the various generations because a daughter has always taken it over in her married name.”
But Pat’s daughter Kim, 32, and son Robert, 33, are not interested in becoming the fifth generation to run the business in Ashleworth, Gloucestershire.
Pat – whose husband, Rod, 67, is a former lorry driver – said: “It is up for sale because neither of my children want to take it on. It has been an idyllic existence at the heart of the community but they have seen that it is also a hard life.
“Rod gets up at 5.30am and doesn’t finish until 7pm. Our children have jobs with paid holiday but we have only just had our first week’s holiday since our honeymoon in 1982. We had a lovely relaxing time walking in Yorkshire to celebrate my 60th birthday and decided that the time has come for a bit more freedom.”
The post office has been in the family since 1918 when Pat’s great-grandfather Walter, a manual labourer, lost his arm in an accident.
Pat said: “The Post Office asked if he would like to open an outlet in the village bakery, as it was then, and he said yes. Back then it was known as Taylors.”
It was then taken over by Doris and George Saunders, her maternal grandparents, and became Saunders.
Pat said: “My parents, William and Margaret Westbrook, took it over before I was born and called it Westbrooks. We took it over 33 years ago.
“When I was growing up here, the biggest indoor sawmill in the country was across the road and it was very busy. People would do their weekly shopping with us in the era before supermarkets.
“What is now our storeroom used to be the shop, before my parents built on an extension. You used to come through an old door, past a shed with shelves of things like vinegar and fizzy drinks, into the shop which had a flagstone floor.
“There was a counter and you had to bring your own containers – a jug for vinegar and a bag for the fl our to be weighed out.”
At the age of four, Pat was allowed to set up a small table in front of the post office where she would sell items such as old cotton reels.
She said: “I’m not sure that my father didn’t give his customers money to buy from me.”
After the Westbrooks retired they lived in a bungalow behind the post office and set up a business baking cakes.
Pat said: “My late mother’s recipes are still sold in the shop today and Rod and I plan to move into the same bungalow.
“It’s the end of an era but it’s time for the shop to benefit from new ideas.”
The business, which includes a Grade II-listed cottage, is on the market for £425,000.