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Post, Telegraph & Telephone

Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire

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The Post Office at the western, Market Street, end of the Shambles

The former Post Office, corner of The Shambles and Market Street

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The first recorded Postmaster was a clothier and grocer called John Renison, who was appointed in 1769 and was still in the post in 1792. From at least 1830 to 1844 Charles Johnson served as Postmaster and grocer in St Margaret’s Street. In 1837 a letter-carrier was employed, delivering in the town in the morning and Winsley and Westwood in the afternoon; a woman named Priscilla carried letters to South Wraxall.

Next came printer Joseph Rawling who died in 1866 and passed the office and printing business to his son Charles. In 1887 William Hanny was postal messenger to South Wraxall where Henry Rudman was Postmaster and grocer, Aaron Sims was postal messenger to Monkton Farleigh and John Sims was postal messenger to Westwood and Winsley.

After Charles Rawling retired on the 31 March 1898, there was no building for the Post Office, so a private company built one in 1899 and leased it to the Post Office, opening it at the corner of the Shambles and Market Street in 1901. The General Post Office (GPO) bought it in 1923, at the expiry of the lease and later demolished a tall Georgian building next door in 1935 for an extension which opened in the next year. Sub-post offices opened in Trowbridge Road and Bath Road and there were offices in all the villages, now mostly closed.

The sorting office moved to modern premises in Rowden Lane in 1996 and the Post Office itself closed in 2013, with its functions being handled by Budgens, now the Co-op, supermarket.

The Post Office provided a telegraph service in Bradford in 1870 and the National Telephone Company opened an exchange in 1895.

As in Bradford, post offices in the villages moved around:

Atworth’s was in Bradford Road in 1887, but moved to Bath Road, where there is still a Post Office Lane; the office is now at the Bear Garage

Broughton Gifford was last in the Bell on the Common public House; there isn’t one now

Holt began on Ham Green, near the White Hart (Tollgate), then migrated 99 The Street, then again further east at 180 the Common and is now at the Superstore

Limpley Stoke’s Post Office was in the next building up from the Hop Pole and later moved across the road, but is now closed

Monkton Farleigh stayed in the same building, just up from and opposite the church, closed in 2014

Westwood’s is now in the shop in Tynings Way

Wingfield’s post was handled by James Hill in 1915 in his shop in Shop Lane, long closed

Winsley’s was at the Wheatsheaf shop on the west of the village, moved up the lane towards the church and is now in the shop on Tyning Road