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Kensworth Post Office - 57 Common Road Kensworth

The Post Office about 1910 [Z883/27]
The Post Office about 1910 [Z883/27]

57 Common Road is the Post Office and general stores and the time of writing [2013]. The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every building and piece of land in the country was to be assessed to determine its rateable value. Kensworth, like most of the county was largely assessed in 1927 and the valuer visiting 57 Common Road [DV1/C110/146] found that it was, then as now, the post office.

The building was owned and occupied by William Busby who had a reception room, kitchen and scullery downstairs in addition to the shop which measured 13 feet by 23 feet. He had three bedrooms and a boxroom upstairs. Outside stood glasshouses measuring 7 feet 6 inches by 9 feet 3 inches, 9 feet by 17 feet and 10 feet by 17 feet respectively. There was also a brick and slate stable, a brick and slate barn and an oven (“not used”) so evidently the premises had been a bakery in the past.

Directories for Bedfordshire were not published every year but every few years from the early to mid 19th century until 1940. Kensworth was included in Bedfordshire directories from 1898, having been transferred from Hertfordshire in 1897. William Busby appears as a shopkeeper in directories from 1898 to 1931. In 1936 Oliver Kirby is listed as shopkeeper and in 1940 it is Dennis Ainsworth, both men had the same telephone number – Whipsnade 33 – as Busby had had and so occupied the same premises.

The 1898 directory gives Edmund Durrant as postmaster, whilst that of 1903 lists Miss Carrie Durrant as postmistress. Directories of 1906, 1910, 1914, 1920 and 1924 list Mrs. Charlotte Busby as postmistress. Kirby is listed in 1936 and Ainsworth in 1940.

Kensworth Post Office - 57 Common Road January 2012
Kensworth Post Office - 57 Common Road January 2012