The Old Post Office Yelden
The Old Post Office September 2015
Many Bedfordshire villages had a post office from about the middle of the 19th century. Directories for Yelden, however, show that Yelden had to wait until the turn of the century. Kelly's Directory for 1898 lists no post office in Yelden whereas that for 1903 does. The first postmaster was John Barringer, who was also a baker. By 1906 he had been succeeded by William H Coleman, who also kept a shop. By 1910 Charlotte Bowd kept a shop and the post office, as she still did in 1914.
From at least 1920 to at least 1940 the post office was kept by shopkeeper Gertrude Cole. 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. The valuer visiting the Old Post Office in Spring Lane found that Gertrude rented it from H W Randle, who lived next door, at a rent of 4/2 per week [DV1/C190/42].
The building contained a living room, a kitchen, a scullery and three bedrooms. The post office and shop was connected by a passage to the house and measured 17 feet 3 inches by 14 feet. A roughcast and tiled barn also stood outside.