Where was the Old Charfield Post Office?

Valerie Sibley tells us the location and shares some childhood memories.

I expect you've had lots of replies as to the location of the Post Office - I lived in Horsford Cottages from 1939 until 1948 and passed it every day on my way to and from the village school.

Coming from the Village School, turn right off the main road by the Railway Tavern and it was/is on the first corner on the left. There used to be a wooden building half way between the Tavern and the Post Office which served as a Bank, especially on Market Days in the Station Yard.

The wooden building would have been on the same side as the Tavern and the Post Office, possibly just before you get to what is now called the Sidings.

Last time we visited I continued round Horsford Road and managed to locate our old home - the triangle of ground now surrounded by greenery, is quite unmistakeable, although the buildings have changed. They stand out as pinkish cottages and there appears to be a new building nearer the road. All that triangle was our garden during the war, where my father grew lots of vegetables and just a few flowers for Mum (you can't eat flowers; he always said).

As far as I know I was not too naughty - only crime was "scrumping" in an orchard - rush through, grab what you could, over the dry-stone wall and share it out (usually me and 3 or 4 village boys!).

Valerie and her Aunt :  : Charfield village, South Gloucestershire, GL12
Valerie and her Aunt with the Post Office in the background - 1944

Little girls wore skirts not trousers in those days and I was always going home with torn skirts through climbing!!

They may have been the war years but on reflection as a child I enjoyed what now seems like a charmed existence for a child - none of the day-to-day fears of the present era!

The photo on the left is taken in Horsford Road, just round the corner from what was then the New Post Office - you can see the telephone box, stamp machine and the top of the round pillar box. Opposite the building was the approach to the main Station Yard - as opposed to the bit down to the Good Shed where Land Rover had a garage last time I was there!

The picture on the right shows us ready for the Village Fete in the summer of 1946.

I'm on the front row, first left. Next to me is Janet Goscombe and the other small one is Ann Barton - we all went to Charfield School of course. Two of the 'big girls' (about 17 or 18) are Peggy Mussel and Joyce Starky but I'm not quite sure which is which - it's a long time ago and they were a lot older than me! The shorts were made from blackout material and the blouses were old sheets - material was rationed!

[Editor: The girl at the back, extreme left, is Jean Platt - thanks for Mel Platt for the information]

Valerie Sibley (formally Brazier)
© 2009



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