By Toby Walne, Financial Mail on Sunday, London Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Feb. 6--A remarkable success story has unfolded deep in the countryside -- a new post office has started life. It is all the more astonishing when set against the background of more than 4,000 branch closures in five years.
Nationally, the network is now down to 14,908 post offices with 8,100 of them in rural areas. More than 1,000 village post offices are among the casualties of the past five years.
The new outlet is tucked away in a youth hostel at Kettlewell, a picturesque village in the Yorkshire Dales that was the setting for the hit film Calendar Girls, starring Julie Walters and Helen Mirren.
Kettlewell is on the river Wharfe, flanked by rugged moorland dotted with sheep.
Youth hostel boss Judith Mallams, 34, …