Swallow Resource Centre
Swallow Family History - Hertfordshire, East London and Beyond
The OLd post HOUSE, much hadham
From A History of Little & Much Hadham

In 1862 John Driver sold a parcel of pasture land or orchard to Henry Ufford for 44. His son, in that same year, built a Messuage or dwelling house on the plot. This was formerly glebe land and was enfranchised from Queen Anne’s Bounty for 39 11s 0d.  Six years later the property was sold to Anne Richardson, who then mortgaged it to James and Elizabeth Hassall, to whom it eventually passed.

In 1891, on the demise of the Hassalls, the property was sold to EH Keen for 220.  Mr Keen took out a mortgage with ST Richards for 150 and it was he who becomes the owner in 1898.  Seven years later it was sold to GL Thurgood (note that Alpheus Swallow [s1060] married Thurgood’s daughter, Mary Ann) for 150 and in August 1934 it was finally sold to John Groom for 725.
 
From the early 1920s the house was used as a post office by Alpheus Swallow  who crossed the road from Plummers where he had taken over as sub-Post Master from James Thurgood.  When Alphues (Alf) retired in 1934, the vacancy for a sub-Post Master was advertised and was seen by John Groom who was then living with his parents at Stanstead Abbotts, where his father was sub-Post Master.  John was working the Post Office in London and Millie, whom he was about to marry also worked in London.  They had decided that, after their wedding, they would both continue with their jobs and live in the suburbs.
 
However, on seeing the advertisement, John decided on the spur of the moment to obtain further particulars and the upshot was that, from 9 Sep 1934 he was installed as the sub-Post Master of Much Hadham, having been married for exactly three weeks.
 
The house, (previously occupied by Alpheus) was infested with mice and the garden with rats    In October, work began on converting the two front rooms into a post office and shop (no planning permission was required in those days).  Outside, a lean-to was put up to house the bicycles of the four postmen and the truck which was used to bring the mail bags to and from the station.
 
Contributed by Doreen Holt, great granddaughter of Alice Grace Swallow s0760.

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