sign Hempstead




Village History
 

Post Office
what3words location - ///stewing.steams.sapping

Post Office
c.1910 with the school beyond under the tree

The first mention of Hempstead Post Office is in Kelly's Directory of 1879.
At this time, the White_Horse pub was the designated Post Office, where John Neal was the landlord.
However, the OS map of 1885 shows the Post Office to be in the small building attached to the north side of the White Horse.
Prior that, it seems that mail was brought in by a messenger from Dereham via Holt and then delivered by an appointed individual in the village.
In 1896, Miss Matilda Neal, presumably John's daughter, is listed as postmistress and it would appear that the later Post Office was built between 1892 and 1896.
It appears that the Post Office also acted as a shop in some small way, presumably selling some form of household provisions.

For around the last 20 years that the Post Office remained open, while Laura Bacon was the postmistress, Iris Doy was the post lady and delivered all the mail by bicycle. It was said that she used to push her bicycle more than ride it.

My nannies sister Iris Doy was the post lady, that biked round delivering all the post. As granny always fell off her bike when a car came along, so Iris was also bike nervous.
Lyn Marie Jackson - 5th May 2020


Kelly's 1854

Letters received through Holt
Harrod's 1863 POSTAL REGULATIONS. - Letters through Holt. Post town, Thetford.
Kelly's 1879
Post Office, - John Neal, receiver. Letters through Dereham by messenger from Holt arrive at 7.45 a.m.; dispatched at 4.20 p.m. No mail on sundays.
The nearest money order & telegraph office is at Holt.
White's 1883 Post from Dereham
White's 1890
POST OFFICE at Mr. John Neal's. Letters arrive at 7.45 a.m., and are despatched at 4.45 p.m., via Holt, which is the nearest Money Order and Telegraph Office.
Kelly's 1892 POST OFFICE - John Neal, receiver. Letters from Holt R.S.O. arrive at 7.35 a.m.; dispatched at 4.50 p.m. No mail on sunday. The nearest money order & telegraph office is at Holt.
Kellys 1896
POST OFFICE - Miss Matilda Neal, sub-postmistress. Letters from Holt R.S.O. ; the delivery of letters and parcels commences 7.50 a.m. ; dispatched at 4.45 p.m. No postal business on sundays. Postal orders are issued here but not paid. The nearest money order offices are at Baconsthorpe, Edgefield Green & Holt. Holt is the nearest telegraph office.
Kelly's 1900
POST OFFICE - Mrs. A. Kemp, sub-postmistress. Letters from Holt R.S.O. ; the delivery of letters and parcels commences 7.50 a.m. ; dispatched at 4.45 p.m. No postal business on sundays. Postal orders are issued here but not paid. The nearest money order offices are at Baconsthorpe, Edgefield Green & Holt. Baconsthorpe is the nearest telegraph office, 2 miles distant.

4th March 2020
4th March 2020

Post Officers

John Neal - receiver, White Horse

1879
John Neal - receiver, White Horse 1890
John Neal - receiver, White Horse 1892
Miss Matilda Neal - sub-postmistress 1896
Mrs. A. Kemp - sub-postmistress 1900
Mrs. A. Kemp - sub-postmistress 1904
Mrs. Adeline Kemp - sub-postmistress 1908
Mrs. Adeline Kemp - sub-postmistress 1912
Mrs. Adeline Kemp - sub-postmistress 1916
Mrs. Adeline Kemp - sub-postmistress 1922
Mrs. Laura Bacon - sub-postmistress 1949
Mrs. Laura Bacon - sub-postmistress 1978
Adeline or Annie Kemp was also listed as shopkeeper.
Laura Bacon retired in 1978 and died two years later in 1980 at a local retirement home.

Official presentation of a watch to Laura Bacon - 1978
Official presentation of a watch to Laura Bacon in front of an EDP photographer - 1978

I lived at Marlpit Cottages till 1966. I remember the post office and getting a threppny bit for delivering stuff. Used to pick up fruit for Mr Gibbs opposite Marlpit. Had two uncles who lived in village. The Wrights had shop near PO. Remember Paul Hicks, Desmond Power and a few others who lived there. My brother is buried in churchyard after living a very short life. The shop was basically a house was basically a house near the post office run by Mr and Mrs Wright and that would be 1964/5. Only delivered papers to relations. As you looked at PO my uncle was next left and think it was one of the two next to that. Think it was just small grocery if my memory is correct.
Trevor Scarffe - 5th May 2020


Post Office
Trevor Scarffe's uncle lived in the right hand cottage (with the Post Office immediately to its right) and the shop would have been in the left hand cottage (with the church behind and the school to its left).

O. S. Map 1885
O. S. Map 1885
Post Office situated next door to the White Horse Inn
Courtesy of NLS map images

O. S. Map 1905
O. S. Map 1905
Marked in red top - bottom
Smithy - White Horse Inn - Post Office - Shop - School

Courtesy of NLS map images

If you have any memories, anecdotes or photos please let us know and we may be able to use them to update the site. Please or telephone 07836 675369

Website copyright © Jonathan Neville 2020
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