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Wilshamstead Post Office - 33 Cotton End Road

Wilstead Post Office March 2012
Wilstead Post Office March 2012

33 Cotton End Road is Wilshamstead Sub-Post Office [2013]. The building has fulfilled this role for many years, at least as far back as 1901, as shown on maps. A post office in Wilshamstead is first recorded in The Post Office Directory of 1877, the postmistress being Sophia Coley, who was also listed in directories of 1885 and 1890. The post office at this time, as shown on a map of 1883, was on the south side of Cotton End Road in a property now demolished but just east of Number 46.

Kelly’s Directory for 1894 lists George Sharpe as postmaster. He is listed by each successive directory (published every few years rather than annually) until 1936, his last listing being in 1931. It seems a good guess that the post office moved to its current location when he took over between 1890 and 1894. In 1936 and 1940 (the last directory for Bedfordshire), the postmaster for Wilshamstead was Henry Robinson.

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. Like most of the county, Wilshamstead was largely assessed in 1927 and the valuer visiting the post office at 33 Cotton End Road [DV1/C65/42] found that it was owned, as well as occupied, by George Sharpe.

The building and comprised the shop, which measured 8 feet by 10 feet, a parlour, a living room, a scullery and three bedrooms. In 1979 planning permission was granted for an extension to provide additional living accommodation [BorBTP/79/334].

Wilshamstead Post Office about 1938 [Z50/134]
Wilshamstead Post Office about 1938 [Z50/134]