The Old Post Office

68 The High Street

High Street Research Team

Post Office on the Corner of the High Street and Queens Road taken in the Early Twentieth Century
Wivenhoe Memories Collection
The Post Office decorated for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953. Mr and Mrs Bristow won first prize.
Photo: Jane Butt. Wivenhoe Memories Collection
The old Post Office with 'Laurel and Hardy' in their original positions in 1988.
Brendan Loughlin
The two pillar boxes standing outside the 'old' Post Office on the corner of the High Street and Queens Road
Photograph by Sue Murray ARPS

High Street Trail index – click here

A hundred years ago, the Postmaster was Thomas Willis Goodwin. He was born in 1861 and died in 1943, having been the Postmaster for 51 years. He is buried with his wife Agnes in the local cemetery.

Telegrams were sent and received from the Post Office in 1918. This was the quickest way for important news to be delivered at this time.

Read more about the Telegram service in Wivenhoe.

In 1906 Herbert Hart worked as a postman and he was one of the many Wivenhoe men who served in the Great War. Regrettably he was killed in France in 1916, although he is remembered on the War Memorial in the churchyard.

The Old Post Office is thought to have been built around the 1820s but the exact date is unknown.

The Post Master in 1827 was James Pratt. He died in 1853 and his executors put the property up for sale on 22nd July that year,  when it sold for £330. It would appear that his daughter Miss Sarah Pratt continued in the business as she was listed as the postmistress in the 1871 census when she was 65 years of age.

There was a daily post coach to London via Colchester in 1827. Letters from London arrived by mail cart from Colchester at half past eight in the morning. Letters to London were sent by mail cart at half past six every evening.

The Post Office closed on this site in 1996. Outside there were two red pillar boxes of different sizes known locally as Laurel and Hardy. These were moved to the new site and can still be seen outside Wyvern Stores where the Post Office is situated today.

High Street Trail index – click here

Resources:

  • Wivenhoe, Its Attractions, Pleasures and Eccentrics”, Dick Barton
  • Census records
  • Memories of Stan Kemble, a Wivenhoe resident

 

This page was added on 01/08/2018.

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