GREAT DUNMOW POST OFFICE (1938)
Architect: Office of Works (job architect unknown(
Selected bibliographical references
Essex Chronicle 12 Oct 1938, p. 10
Opened: 12 Oct 1938
From: Essex Chronicle 14 October 1938, p. 10
The new Dunmow Post-office adjoining the Rural Council offices in High Street was opened in the presence of a representative gathering on Wednesday by Mr. A. C. Knight, chairman the Dunmow Parish Council. Erected at a cost of £5,600, the premises are attractive in appearance and up-to-date in equipment. " For a small office, you will not find one better equipped anywhere in the country," an official said. "We have even installed burglar alarms in case of hold-ups at the public counter." The entrance lobby and public office are panelled with English oak. Two telephone silence cabinets are provided in the public office, which contains a large writing table and chairs for the use of the public, and there is a third telephone cabinet outside the building for use when the office is closed. Separated from the main building are a garage, cycle shed, etc. Mr E. F. Nunns, the Eastern District Surveyor, who presided at the opening, said £5,600 was a lot of money to spend on a new Post-office in a small town like Dunmow, but the growth of the business there justified it. The cost included the purchase of the site from the Dunmow Rural Council. Letters delivered in Dunmow numbered 44,000 a week and parcels 54,000 a year The number of postal orders issued annually was 34,269, and the number paid out was 12,291. The number of telegrams sent was 2,515 a year, and the number delivered 641. The work had increased by about 30 per cent, in the last ten years. At the request of the Dunmow Council, they proposed, in the new office, to give the public better service by engaging more staff. Mr. Knight recalled the days when the Dunmow Post-office formed part of Johnson's shop in High Street. The postal work rapidly increased, and later a move was made to the recently-vacated premises in High Street. It was amusing to recall old Post-office days, the older generation would remember Newman Ruffell, who used to leave Dunmow with his pony and trap and mails every day at 6 a.m., and arrive back at 6 p.m., heralding his approach by blowing a trumpet. (Laughter). Postman East, another fine old character, used to drive the mails every morning to White Roding, and return with his pony and trap in the evening. Mr. Knight thanked the Dunmow Postmaster, Mr. J. T. Hull, assuring him that his courtesy and kindness were very much appreciated. (Hear, hear). The efficiency of the staff was notable. " Nothing ever goes wrong in the postal service in Dunmow; indeed, we never expect anything to go wrong". Mr Knight concluded by proposing hearty thanks to the Postmaster-General for providing such a fine Post-office. (Applause). Mr L. C Dickens, head postmaster of Bishop's Stortford, proposed thanks to Mr. Knight and bouquets were presented to Mrs. Knight and Mrs Nunns by Miss Olive Stanley and Miss Rosalind Frecknall. The company then adjourned to the new building, where Mr. Knight sent the first telegram. This was addressed to the Postmaster- General, and was worded as follows: "On behalf of the people of Dunmow, I would like to thank Major Tryon for the excellent new Post-office which I have had the privilege of opening to-day at Dunmow. The new Post-office is a worthy addition to the town, and is much appreciated. (Signed) A. C. Knight, chairman of the Dunmow Parish Council." Col T. Gibbons, D S.O . D.L., J.P., purchased the first stamp. Mr. Knight then formally declared the new office open to the public. Tea was served to the visitors in the sorting office, under the supervision of Mrs. Ken Beard.