at Bures 1st Post Office in the High Street.
Photograph Courtesy of Leigh Alston
This was most probably the first
Post Office in Bures
It was located along the HIgh Street where Bolberry House now
(opposite the Baptist Church)
There is no definitive date published
when it opened, the only documentary evidence we have is that Elizabeth
Chandler was the Postmistress
Suffolk Chronicle February 1828
Elizabeth Chandler was the subject of an embezzlement Court Case
Would this have taken place at the Post Office ?
"Piggots Trade Directory
of 1830" documents Elizabeth Chandler as Postmistress
The mail was transported by horse drawn wagons travelling between
Clare (Anchor) and Colchester (Royal Oak)
So the earliest we can date this Post Office is 1828/30 until George
Goody took over as Postmaster in 1837 - see below
Elizabeth subsequently appears in the 1841 Census records as a "landlady"
in the High Street. Probably at the old Post Office.
rates in those days before 1840, when the Penny Post was introduced:-
Letter to Liverpool 1/-, to London 9d, to Ipswich 9d, to Colchester
Envelopes were not in use so letters were wrapped and sealed with
Only one sheet of paper being allowed, up to A4 size.
If a second sheet was attached it was charged at double postage.
The introduction of the Penny Post later simplified all of this for
letters. The 1/2d was used for printed matter such as newspapers.
Recorded Postmasters at Bures
Second Post Office (now called Apsley House, High St)
1837 George Goody - Newsagent, corn dealer and PO
(Also manager of the Gas Works)
The position of Sub-Postmaster was
a very important position. John Smith MP for Norwich was asked to
recommend a Sub-Postmaster for Bures. He wrote to the supervisor
of the Inland Revenue at Sudbury looking for a suitable person.
Mr Robert Goody was suggested, but as he had political interests
he was excluded. Postmasters were no allowed to vote or hold political
His son George was subsequently nominated and his name was put forward
to the "Lords of the Treasury" for approval. He was appointed
at the age of 18 on the 12th September 1837.
George Goody was given a large reception in the village after serving
50 years as Sub-Postmaster. Drum and Fife band together with a firework
display were part of the celebrations.
The 1851 Census lists a "Charlotte
Deal" aged 15 lodging in The Street as a "letter carrier"
The mail was transported initially
by horse drawn wagons travelling between Clare and Colchester.
Horses were changed at the Eight Bells PH which was owned by Mr
Records show the last collection from the PO mailbox was at 9.15pm,
for onward delivery to Colchester. The wagon from Clare was scheduled
to arrive at 9.30pm to collect the mail and to change horses.
The return journey from Colchester arrived at 3.00am stopping to
drop of mail on route back to Clare.
Mr Frank Pilgrim was the first person from the village to drive
the motorised vehicle
to 1911 Harry Steed - Newsagent, Stationer, confectioner and PO
||Harry Steed died aged
60 years on October 28th 1911.
Sub-Postmastership taken over by his wife Elizabeth.
|The second postman to
the left of the picture is mentioned below
today in High St.
Note, the letter box on the right, compared with the old photograph
These three images were supplied
by Michael A Cooper.
The press cutting relates to my Great Grandfather, George Eves,who
was a postman in Bures in the 19th century.
He received a Kings award from the Royal Mail for services.
George Eves - Village Postman is
also my Gt Grandfather and I have copies of the photographs and
press cuttings published. I can confirm that George retired 13 November
1908 and notice of his Imperial Service Award was published in the
London Gazette 8th January 1909, I believe the Award ceremony took
place in the March. I have a copy of George's full service history
obtained from the Post Office Archives over 20 years ago, best of
all I now have Imperial Service Medal which I hope will now remain
within the Eves family.
Carol Mennell, York 2011
Note:- as Mr Steed was the Postmaster
at the time, we can date this picture between
1889 to 1911
Apsley House most probably closed on the death of Harry Steed and moved
opposite to the house we know today as St Mary`s, no specific date has
Recorded Postmasters (3rd) Post
Office now called St Mary`s, High St -
1911 to 1922 Elizabeth Steed -
PO and stationer
This closed in 1922
Mrs Steed retired aged 72 years,
after serving as Sub-Postmaster for 11 years, previous to that she
was a Clerical assistant in the Post Office for 40 years, a total
time of 51 years. She was assistant to George Goody her uncle who
held the position for 52 yrs.
Mr Harry Steed her husband followed Mr Goody and held the post for
22 years. Mrs Steed took over after her husbands death.
The Sub-Postmastership being held by the same family for 85 years.
When she commenced work there were no Postal orders, no parcel post,
no telephone, no licenses, and boys delivered the letters.
The salary was £13.00 per year and the office hours were eight
Mrs Steeds official retirement was held at West Mersea Post Office
together with loads of Post Office dignitaries.
2nd Post Office,
to the left of the photograph.
(photo, courtesy of John Ineson)
High Street 2003
Recorded Postmasters (4th Post
Office Church Sq)-
The fourth location in
Church Square opened the same year, adjacent to the entrance to the Vicarage.
This was managed by a number of
owners at this location (1922 - 1988):-
circa 1920`s, 3rd Post Office.
The factory chimney can be seen in the rear
(photo, courtesy of John Ineson
1922 Downings Grocery Store (see photo). Mr Radford from Mildenhall recorded
1924/5 records show John Radford as Postmaster
1933 - Albert Sampson as Postmaster
circa 1929 - Walter Christmas Grocery Store
||circa 1937 - Braybrookes
Grocery Store (at least until 1945)
circa ? Denham and Small
circa ? Capt Cunnell
1958 to 1971 - K & R. Brooks
|1971 to 1988 - Gordon
& Angela Harrod, trading as a Post Office and `Mace` general store.
Church Sq , 2003
The property now residential.
Postmasters (5th Post Office Church Sq)-
1988 - 1996 - G & A Harrod moved next door to its present location.
1996 - Present day - Robert and Madelyn Harrod
||5th Post Office, currently
(information supplied by Mrs Janet Frost(dec)&
Updated 31/01/2017 with first PO photograph