The Post Office

1. 1914

(Paul Peachey Collection)

2. Not yet the PO!

(Trevor Sadler Collection)

3. 1928

(Paul Peachey Collection)

4. 1950s

(Paul Peachey Collection)

5. When?


(Paul Peachey Collection)


1. Before the PO was in this building it was in Ashfield Road (next to the Mace shop?), as shown in a postcard of 1913.

2. Date unknown, but after the 1914 photo, since radical changes have been made to the downstairs to the left, creating a separate residence, probably.

3. The cover of the June 1993 Elmswell Newsletter showed picture #3 with its reverse side, and the short article reprinted below.

5. & 6. From Paul Peachey's collection. Following publication of No.6 in the Elmswell Newsletter, Pauline Fisher of Wetherden recognised the gentleman with the glasses as her father, Oliver Squirrel. The other man was identified by Jeanette Weedon as Sid Phillips, father of Bill Phillips, who was well known in the village.

We also heard more about the earlier days of the Post Office in the interviews of Ella Kinsey and Stan King, and others.

From the June 1993 Newsletter

Our picture shows the Post Office when it was owned by the Dawsons who moved down from Huddersfield in 1927 and moved back again to run a pub in 1931. At the time of the photograph, the shop was also the telephone exchange, butchers, drapery, grocery and paper shop. It provided a delivery service in the open top car which is in the picture. Also in the picture is the owners' only daughter who was 18 months old on the day it was taken. She was looked after by Bertha who lived in. Bertha worked from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m., Monday to Thursday, an hour longer on Friday and from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Saturday. She earned 3/6d (17p) per week.

Ronnie Whybrow also worked there he was the butcher and gardener and his family still have glasshouses in Woolpit. Bertha's dad was the only Postman. He emptied both post boxes one at the Post Office, one on Church Road and put the mail on the 7 p.m. train. He would never leave the post until the train had collected it sometimes as late as 11 p.m. Incoming mail came via Woolpit.

Bill Manning used to collect the bread from The Bakery now the chip shop and takeaway in his handcart for sale at the grocery counter. Stanley King started there in 1942 on June 26th, a week before his birthday. He has worked under 3 owners.

Picture taken before the Co-Op was built!

More comments from villagers interviewed

Ray Eyres: I remember Leeks coming to the village, and I can remember several postmasters before him, including Mr Dawson who was also a good musician (violin). There was a provision shop there as well at that time. Picky Manning, the sole postman when I came in 1929 and for some years thereafter, delivered to the whole village - a good deal of legwork when you think how far it is to the New Hall...