AFTER baking thousands of cakes and sorting hundreds of thousands of letters and parcels Carol and Dorothy Paxton have shut up their post office and village shop and plan to put their feet up.

It is time for a well earned rest. The pair have been running Kirkby Fleetham Village Shop and Post Office, near Bedale, for 30 years – Carol, 67, in charge of the Post Office with mother in law Dorothy, 87, sorting out cake and pie production and helping with the shop.

Originally from Hartlepool and Billingham, Carol – with her husband Bill – was persuaded to make the move after Dorothy and her husband Bob had retired and were bored.

She said: “They wanted something to do and we had two young children, so we bought it – and it’s been a lovely place to work and live.

"The people in the village have been wonderful, but times change and there isn’t the demand now. Many people have been really supportive, but young people shop in the supermarkets or online.

“We decided the time had come to relax a bit. The move was a whole new change in career for Dorothy – her cakes and pies became famous and before we came she’d hardly baked.

"It was a steep learning curve, but they were a big part of the shop and she couldn’t stop, until now.”