Ledbury 08 Stamp

High St PO
1841-1877
New Street PO
1877-1926
Homend PO
1926-1993

Penny Black Stamp

In 1837, British postal rates were high, complex and anomalous and the recipient had to pay postage on delivery,
To simplify matters, Sir Rowland Hill proposed an adhesive stamp to indicate pre-payment of postage and the Penny Black allowed letters to be delivered at a flat rate of one penny, regardless of distance. Early letters to Ledbury arrived via Malvern Wells but from 1841 Ledbury had its own Post Office.



There is an excellent website from the Great Britain Philatelic Society, www.gbps.org.uk which shows the postal status of each office for the period from 1844 to 1906.
Every Post Office had an official number used to cancel the stamps on the envelope/parcel. Ledbury was given the number 446 from 1844 to 1962, any letter with that cancellation number was posted in Ledbury.
It was classed as a 'Head Post Office' (any letters collected from a sub post office were routed through the Head Office) from 1844 to 1906 after that date sub post offices could cancel their own letters.

In every census from 1841 to 1871 William Taylor is described as Grocer and Postmaster in the High Street (although in 1871 he is Postmaster and Grocer, perhaps showing the increasing importance of the role.)
William Taylor was born in Cirencester in 1800. He married Elizabeth Francis Taylor in Ledbury on February 28th 1829.
They had William Giles Taylor in 1831, Elizabeth in 1833 and Mary Jane in 1835. Sadly Elizabeth Francis died in January 1839.
In each child's baptism he is recorded as Grocer in the High St. His shop is now Clarks shoes.

Then from the Worcester Journal March 17th 1877.

LEDBURY POST OFFICE.
The postmaster, Mr. Wm. Taylor, having resigned, the appointment has been conferred upon Mr William Baker, who has been engaged at the Hereford Post Office for the last 16 years.


William Taylor died in Ledbury in 1882.

His resignation seems to have prompted a removal of the Post Office to New Street with a collection box installed in the High Street:

From the Worcester Journal July 7th 1877.

LEDBURY. POST OFFICE.
The Postmaster- General has consented to a pillar letter box being erected in High Street.

William Baker, the new postmster, needed family accomodation telling us something about the building used to accomodate the Post Office in New Street

Born in Stroud in 1839 he married Sarah in about 1868.
They had Augustus George in 1869, Florence in 1870, Edith Annie in 1872 and Agnes Hannah, in 1874 and Alice Mary in 1876, all in Hereford. After they moved to Ledbury, in 1877, they had Mabel Sarah in 1879 and William John in 1883.
When they took Mabel Sarah to be baptised in 1879 the vicar, The Rev. John Jackson (For more on him click here) must have asked about the other children as they were all baptised in Ledbury (except Augustus George who seems to have flown the nest) on Nov 12th 1879. William John was baptised on Jan 10th 1883.
William senior is in the Post Office in the 1881 census with his wife, 6 children and a servant, Alice Dance born 1864 in Ledbury. Still Post Master in Ledbury in 1891, he retired to Cheltenham by 1893.

A Postmistress followed William Baker:
From the Worcestershire Chronicle September 2nd 1893.
LEDBURY
POST OFFICE: Mrs. J Sargent, of Wallington, Surrey, has been appointed postmistress of Ledbury, the duties of which she takes over on Sept 1st.


The burglary reported below leaves us in no doubt that the Post Office, was three doors up from the Talbot.

From the Gloucester Citizen September 12th 1895

BREAKING INTO LEDBURY POST OFFICE.
A young man, giving his name as Henry Smith, was charged at the Ledbury Petty Sessions on Wednesday with burglariously entering the Ledbury post office during the early hours of the previous Tuesday morning. Florence Francis, barmaid the Old Talbot Hotel (three doors from the post office) stated that she saw the prisoner walk very quietly past the Old Hotel towards the post office about 11.55 on Monday night.
He walked backwards and forwards several times, and then brought something in his hands with light covering on it.
The prisoner went back to the post office, and witness heard a grating noise, which continued for some time. She communicated with her assistant, who had retired to bed. Witness heard a match struck, and then saw the prisoner take a pane of glass and put it in the entry leading to the Talbot yard. then called the landlady (Mrs. Palmer) and the boots, who went for a policeman.
Witness saw the gas flare up in the upper room of the post-office several times. She then heard the sound of keys and locks being handled, and the cracking of wood in the post office.
Witness saw the prisoner in the custody of the police, and she was sure he was the same man she saw taking the pane of glass down the street.
Mary Eliza Roscoe, who is in charge of the post-office during the absence of the postmistress, said she was awakened by a sound of hammering, and on getting up discovered there were two policemen the premises.
P.C. Thomas said he was called to the Ledbury Post-Office, and there found a pane of glass had been removed from one of the lower windows. Witness got through the hole where the pane had been. He then heard a window opened, and rushed upstairs to where the sound came from.
He then saw the prisoner climbing over a wall, and witness, in company with Sergt. Lloyd, pursued him. They lost sight of the prisoner for a time, but afterwards discovered him in an outbuilding. Sergt. Lloyd corroborated.
Prisoner, who stated he had nothing to say, was committed to Hereford Assizes.
The Bench highly commended the witness. Florence Francis, and expressed hope that her conduct would be brought before the notice of the Postmaster General.

The Mary Eliza Roscoe referred to in the above had been the supervising clerk at the Office for some years. More about her can be found here

Mrs Sargent's appointment does not seem to be a success, she is absent in the above case and on May 1st 1902 Mr Arnold Harry Bisco commenced his duties as Postmaster of Ledbury. (From Tilley's Almanack).

With accomodation for a family the Post Office would probably have looked much like the adjoining buildings do today but, evidently unsuitable, it was decided to replace it, which did not improve the facade of that side of New Street!

From Tilley's of 1904 in its retrospect of 1903:

January 18th Ledbury Post Office temporarily removed to Eastnor House, Worcester Road, during rebuilding.

From Hereford Journal May 2nd 1903

ALARMING SCAFFOLD ACCIDENT.
On Thursday afternoon, at about five o'clock, an alarming accident occurred at the Ledbury Post Office, now being rebuilt by Mr. Charles Cooke, of Hereford.
A number of men were on the planks forming the scaffolding outside the building. at a height of about 15 feet, when the two putlocks supporting the planks gave way, and five of the men were thrown to the ground. The foreman, Edward Ware. a married man, of Hereford, was amongst them, and his injuries appearing the most serious he was at once conveyed to the Cottage Hospital, and immediately attended by Dr. Green, who found that Ware's jaw was broken, and that he had otherwise received cuts and bruises.
The other men appeared to have sustained minor injuries only.



Again from Tilley's 1904 Retrospect of 1903:

September 7th: New Post Office in New Street reopened.

And this report gives us a description of the new building, the 'large sorting room' was probably on the first floor:
From an article in the Ledbury Reporter of June 19th 1926 about the Roman Catholic Church.
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN LEDBURY
........ the church in the Southend had in its turn become uncomfortably crowded, and temporary accommodation was found in the large sorting room of the Post Office which had just become vacant.


In September 1904 James B Gadd was appointed Postmaster. He was something of an itinerant postmaster having had a new appointment every few years. Whilst in Ledbury he lived in Highclere, in Newbury Park, and by 1910 had moved on to Wolverhampton.
He was followed by John Bell 51, in 1911 from Kendal who also lived in Highclere, perhaps the house was offerd by the Post Office as accomodation for temporary appointments. He left before 1920. (there are no Tilley's between 1912 and 1920) to be followed by someone local: Edward John Smith.

Edward John Smith was born in Ledbury in 1878. He married Amy Saunders in Chelmsford in 1905.
Back in the district shortly after they were married they had Charles Edward Gordon in 1906 and Percy Edward Bertrand in 1907 whilst living in Church House Ledbury. In the 1911 census they are at Roseville, Eastnor, where Edward is an overseer in the Post Office, and whilst here they had Leslie John Somers in 1917. (They mst have been good friends with the Somers of Eastnor).
By 1939 he is retired and living in Cranford, Bank Crescent. Amy died in Lebury in 1956, Edward in Leominster in 1969.
PO in the Homend


He is Postmaster at Ledbury from 1920 to 1938 and it was during his tenure that the Post Office moved from New Street to a purpose built building, No 29 Homend, on the corner of Bank Crescent and the Homend in 1926. This was designed and built by a local builder, David Smith, and, unlike the rebuild in New Street, it does improve the street view.



From the Gloucester Citizen February 1st 1936.
LEDBURY BUILDER
DEATH OF MR. DAVID SMITH
The death has occurred of Mr. David Smith, The Homend, Ledbury, who in his earlier years was a clever craftsman and builder.
For nearly 60 years he was principal in the firm of Messrs. David Smith and Son. builders, Ledbury, and was reputed have few equals in wood and stone carving.
From his own designs he built Ledbury Post Office, and in many buildings in the district there are evidences of his skill.
Mr. Smith, who was 85 years of age, been unable in later years to take any active part in the business owing to failing health.
His son, Mr. William Smith, now controls the business. Mr. Smith is survived by his wife, three sons and a daughter. One of Mr. Smith's sons is Mr. Archie Smith, electrical engineer, of Gloucester.

This building housed the various sections of the Post Office business including the sorting office and the manual telephone exchange.
The telepone exchange moved to its present site in Lawnside Road and became automatic in 1967. By 1993 the Post Office had moved out of No 29 across road to No 34 Homend, with the Sorting Office now in the Station Industrial Estate.
By 1999 it is in its present location in the One Stop Shop.
It is quite remarkable that in 1841 it was allied to a grocer's shop and is again in 2020!


Here is a list of later Postmasters, some names will doubtless bring back memories.
1939	         W F Williams
1940 to 1942	 R Richards
1944 		 A Cummings
1947 to 1954	 E J Prosser
1955 to 1967	 S Hayward
1968 to 1988	 J Ellis 



The Sub Post Offices.


Mr J B Gadd, postmaster in office from 1904 to 1910, introduced two new sub offices in Homend and New Town.

The Homend Sub Post Office 1905 to 1926.

From Hereford Journal 28 November 1903.
SUB-POST OFFICE.
Some time ago a petition signed by a large number of the residents in The Homend district was sent to Mr. Arnold H. Bisco (the Ledbury postmaster), who forwarded the same to the postal authorities, praying for a sub-post office to provided in that neighbourhood.
It is highly satisfactory to hear that their wishes are to be gratified.
We understand that the office will be at the shop of Mr. W. Preece, jun. fancy stationer, who has been appointed town sub-postmaster.
The office is to be opened on the 1st of January, 1904, and all the business relating to a post office will be transacted there. with the exception of telegraphic and telephonic communication.
When the latter has been established in the town it will no doubt be added, as provision has been made for the same.
Therefore besides stamps, money orders and postal order s will be procurable, and the Savings Bank business will be transacted as at the General Post Office.
The hours of business will also be the same. A letter box will be provided, which will be cleared in time for the out-going mails (including the Eastnor delivery) from the General Post Office. The wall letter box at Homend Lodge will remain as heretofore.

(Homend Lodge is next door to the Scouts Hut, there is no letter box there today.)

PO in the Homend
The Old Post Box
The disused
post box





The Homend subPost Office, shown as it is today, is a few doors up from the Baptist chapel and next door to a pub known as the White Horse, the opening on the left being White Horse alley.
I don't see how the customers got in to the Post Office!







And from Tilley's 1905.

HOMEND STREET (Town Sub Office).
Open from 8am to 8 pm Sale of Postage Stamps, Money Order, Postal Order, Savings Bank, Annuity and Government Stock, Licences &c. business. Box cleared 8am, 11.25am, 1.55pm, 4.15pm, 6pm, 7.35pm.
No clearance on Sundays.





More on the Homend Sub Post Office.

In 1901 William Preece, 27 is in the Homend as a House Paint Decorator & Stationer and next door to an Innkeeper.
The 1911 census gives house numbers or names and lists him in The Post Office between the White Horse (No 122) and No 128. William Preece's Personal Occupation is Stationer and Fancy Goods Dealer and the Service with which he is connected given as Sub Postmaster.


Tilley’s in 1911 confirms this with W Preece, stationer, in 124 with the Homend Street Post Office in No 126.
This is of course where the Post Box is today.
No 126 is not listed as a Post Office in Tilley's of 1926 which is the year the main Post Office moved to the Homend. Surely no coincidence!

The New Town Sub Post Office 1906 to 1982.

From Hereford Journal March 18 1905:
NEW TOWN SUB-POST OFFICE. A petition signed by all the inhabitants of New Town has been sent to the Postmaster-General asking him to provide a sub-post at New Town. Such an office is much needed in this populous district, as the distance from the lower end of Albert Road is about three-quarters of a mile from the Post Office.


From Tilley's 1906.

HOMEND STREET (Town Sub Office).
Open from 8am to 8 pm Sale of Postage Stamps, Money Order, Postal Order, Savings Bank, Annuity and Government Stock, Licences &c. business. Box cleared 8.15am, 9.45am, 11.45am, 3.40pm, 4.25pm, 6.20pm, 7.50pm.
No clearance on Sundays.
NEWTOWN (Town Sub Office) Open 8am to 8 pm for sale of Postage Stamps and sale and payment of Postal Orders.
Box cleared 9.20am, 11.30am, 3 .15pm, 6.30pm and 7.30pm.
No Sunday clearance.


Note that the Homend sub PO offers the full range of services whereas Newtown only sells stamps and Postal Orders.

More on the New Town Sub Post Office.

This was established in a house, known as Enidville, on the corner of Lower Road and Victoria Road with this map of 1905 showing the location in pink.

1905 map

PO in New Town




This picture, taken from Victoria Road, gives some idea of what it looked like in the first part of the Twentieth century when the Post Office was located in the house. Over the years it became the local stores and, together with the Knoll Bakery opposite, was able to provide the residents of New Town with their basic needs.
PO in New Town
The building today.













In about 1950 an extension with its own entrance was built on the side to accomodate the Post Office and this is still present today.





The Jones family ran this sub PO for more than 80 years and the history of the family tells us much about the history of the PO.
I have had to do a lot of research into the family and it would be a shame to dismiss this in a few sentences, so I have added it as a separate page. It can be found here




Collection and Delivery of letters was frequent and punctual as these extracts from Tilleys of 1911 show PO Deliveries in 1911


PO Collections 1911











The following booklet shows the duties of a Ledbury rural postman in 1911.
Morning shift of 13 miles from 5.40 to 9.10 and an afternoon shift of 5 miles from 3pm to 6.15 for 21s per week.
Postmans Route 1 Postmans Route 2
Postmans Route 3 Postmans Route 4
Postmans Route 5 Postmans Route 6
Postmans Route 7 Postmans Route 8


Booklet courtesy of William Mutlow.



Some Post Office related extracts from the newpapers:



From Worcestershire Chronicle September 20th 1865

Bromyard and Ledbury post offices are now authorised to receive proposals for insurance or annuities...



Bosbury did not have a Post Office in 1869 and Frederick Kendrick, the local butcher, who presumably also sold stamps as a service to the locals, was in the habit of sending his son to Ledbury to purchase them.
Today we can hardly imagine anyone walking fom Bosbury to Ledbury and back and for a seven year old it must have been a bit daunting especially with villains about!


From the Worcester Journal June 5th 1869.

HIGHWAY ROBBERY.
Thomas Jones and William Ruckson were brought up in custody, charge with feloniously robbing William Kendrick, of Bosbury, of half a sovereign on the highway between Bosbury and Ledbury, on the 25th ult.
William Kendrick deposed: I am seven years old, and am the son of Frederick Kendrick, of Bosbury. On Tuesday, the 25th of May, I was sent to Ledbury to fetch some medicine and ten shillings worth of postage stamps from the Ledbury Post Office.
My father keeps the Post Office at Bosbury. Fanny Cope, my aunt, put half a sovereign in a bag and put it in my pocket. I had a sixpence and sixpenny worth of coppers in my other pocket.
I left Bosbury about ten minutes before twelve o'clock. I met the two prisoners when I got to the Cold Green Road. One of them (Jones) said, " Is this the road to Hereford ? " I told them it was not, but they could go back through the Ledbury turnpike.
Jones asked me to give him a halfpenny and I did so. They then asked me if I had got a sixpence, I told them no.
They came back along the road towards Ledbury with me. They told me to go into a meadow adjoining the road. I was afraid of them ; one got on the gate and the other made me get over also. They asked me my name and cut it out on a stick;
They then wanted to know what I had got in my pocket. I told them a handkerchief. Jones pulled it out of my pocket, and then took out the bag containing half a sovereign.
He put his hand in and felt it and said, " This is the way to keep your hands warm." On pulling his hand out the half sovereign dropped from his sleeve to the ground. I picked it up, but he snatched it from me. I asked him to give it me, but he said he had not got it. He tied the bag up and gave it me, and then wanted to know if we were trespassing. I told him, no, as there was a path.
We afterwards went on towards Ledbury, and at Storesbrook they turned up the lane and told me to go on quietly, as they were only going to their cousin's to have something to eat.
I went on to Ledbury and told a policeman I had been robbed.
Evidence was given by the lad's aunt, Fanny Cope, as to his statement ; by Sarah Pye, the landlady of the Foley Arms, Tarrington, who changed half a sovereign the same day for the prisoners; and by the policeman George Harding, wno apprehended them at a lodging-house at Hereford.
They were committed for trial at the Hereford Quarter Sessions.

Unfortunately I cannot find out what happened Messrs Jones and Ruckson.



William A Baker was born in Stroud in 1839 he married Sarah.
They had Augustus George in 1869, Florence in 1870, Edith Annie in 1872 and Agnes Hannah, in 1874 and Alice Mary in 1876, all in Hereford. After they moved to Ledbury, in 1877, where they had Mabel Sarah in 1879 and William John in 1883.
When they took Mabel Sarah to be baptised in 1879 the vicar, The Rev. John Jackson (For more on him click here must have asked about the other children as they were all baptised in Ledbury (except Augustus George who seems to have flown the nest) on Nov 12th 1879. William John was baptised on Jan 10th 1883.
William senior is in New Street Ledbury in the 1881 census as Postmaster with 6 children and a servant, Alice Dance b 1864 in Ledbury. Still Post Master in Ledbury in 1891, he retired to Cheltenham by 1893.

Note that at this time domestic accomodation was available at the Post Office.

The very long arm of the Law


From The Gloucester Citizen May 20th 1879

CHARGE OF EMBEZZLEMENT.
Among the persons who arrived in Liverpool on Monday from the other side of the Atlantic was a young man named Thomas Richard Shelton, who was in charge of a Post-office police official, who had been despatched in March last to endeavour to arrest him on a charge of committing several forgeries upon the Post-office Savings Bank.
It seems that Shelton, in November last, was employed as clerk and assistant to the postmaster at Ledburv and in that capacity he succeeded appropriating various sums of money, amounting in the aggregate to between £60 and £70, which he ought to have paid into the Savings' Bank Department. He then absconded.
On the matter becoming known to the Post-office authorities in London, they despatched a travelling officer to investigate the matter in conjunction with Mr. E. Butler, also an officer attached to the London Post-office. Their inquiries led them to believe that Shelton had taken a passage from Liverpool to Canada, and on communication being had with the Liverpool detective police it was ascertained that two young men, one of whom answered the description given of Shelton, had taken passage from Liverpool to New York about the time stated. It was presumed that they took fictitious names.
On the strength of this information Mr. Butler left Liverpool in the Hibernian in March last for Canada, and after pursuing his inquiries he succeeded in tracking Shelton to a farm in the neighbourhood of Toronto, where he was engaged as a farm labourer, and the officer arrested him while he was ploughing. He was brought before a magistrate, and was transferred on a warrant to be tried in England.
On arrival in Liverpool with his prisoner, Mr. Butler proceeded by train to Ledbury. At the Ledbury Petty Session on Tuesday the prisoner was brought before the magistrates charged with embezzling the following sums of money : £10, £8 10s., £11 10s.,£12 10s., and £20 : amounting in the aggregate to £62 10s,
Mr. Edwin Winter, Solicitor to the General Post Office. London,, prosecuted. The way in which the prisoner carried on the frauds, was drawing money from the Savings Bank, and having the letters addressed to the office to be left till called for. He would open them, and send back the receipt to the General Post Office.
The first witness called was William Augustus Baker, who deposed. I am postmaster in Ledbury, and have been since 1877 ; prisoner was occupied in the office; to receive money for the Savings Bank, and pay money out; his wages were 21s. per week: prisoner had been in the previous postmaster's service for some time : he left my service on the 14th of November; he was to have gone to New Swindon, to another situation, on the 18th of December last: I am well acquainted with the prisoner's handwriting, and I have no doubt that the signatures produced are in the prisoner's handwriting; since the prisoner has been in custody, he sent for me on Saturday last; I went to see him; I said to him I was sorry to see him in that position; he said, "It cannot be helped now ".
Thomas Hadley (this witness being an old man, was allowed a seat) deposed : I am a labourer, and live at Staplow, and am 79 years of age : I cannot read or write; I am a depositor in the Post Office Savings Bank : the deposit book produced is mine ; I never gave the prisoner or anyone else any authority to draw £10 from my account, nor did I receive the said £10. Hannah Jenkins deposed: I live at Ledbury, and am 79 years of age (this witness was also allowed a seat) ; I am a depositor in the Post Office Savings Bank; the book produced is mine ; I never authorised the prisoner to draw the following sums from my account, £8 10s.. £11 10s., £12 10s., nor did I receive any money or sign any receipt. Elizabeth Mason deposed : I live at Eggleton; I am a depositor in the Post Office Savings' Bank; the book produced is mine: I never authorised prisoner or any one else to draw £20 from my account, nor did I receive the said £20; I went to the office in November last to deposit £310: the book has not been out of my possession since then till the authorities called all the books in a few weeks ago.
Edwin Butler deposed: I am a police officer connected with the Post Office; in February I received, instructions to search for prisoner ; I traced him from Ledbury to Liverpool, and he had started for America, under the assumed name of Thomas H. George; on the 28th of March, I received a warrant to apprehend prisoner; I then started to America and traced him to a farm in the neighbourhood of Toronto, where he was working still under the name of Thomas George ; on the 21st of April I went to hm ;he was out in a field at plough: I said to him, "Well Shelton, this is rather harder work than post office work:" after a little hesitation he answered, " Yes, it is". I then told him I was a police officer from England, and held a warrant for his apprehension for embezzling certain sums of money. I then read the warrant to him; prisoner said he should say nothing about it. Prisoner, having been asked if he had anything to say, answered, " No." He was then committed to take his trial at the next Assize at Hereford.


In August the prisoner pleaded guilty to all the indictments. Justice Hawkins said the prisoner had robbed poor people of their money and sentenced him to five years penal servitude.



The next report, later confirmed by Tilley's Almanack, tells us where the Post Office was, three doors from the Talbot.
The "boots" referred to is the boot and shoe cleaning person. He would have had to go to Church St to call the police.


From the Gloucester Citizen September 12th 1895

BREAKING INTO LEDBURY POST OFFICE.
A young man, giving his name as Henry Smith, was charged at the Ledbury Petty Sessions on Wednesday with burglariously entering the Ledbury post office during the early hours of the previous Tuesday morning. Florence Francis, barmaid the Old Talbot Hotel (three doors from the post office) stated that she saw the prisoner walk very quietly past the Old Hotel towards the post office about 11.55 on Monday night.
He walked backwards and forwards several times, and then brought something in his hands with light covering on it.
The prisoner went back to the post office, and witness heard a grating noise, which continued for some time. She communicated with her assistant, who had retired to bed. Witness heard a match struck, and then saw the prisoner take a pane of glass and put it in the entry leading to the Talbot yard. then called the landlady (Mrs. Palmer) and the boots, who went for a policeman.
Witness saw the gas flare up in the upper room of the post-office several times. She then heard the sound of keys and locks being handled, and the cracking of wood in the post office.
Witness saw the prisoner in the custody of the police, and she was sure he was the same man she saw taking the pane of glass down the street.
Mary Eliza Roscoe, who is in charge of the post-office during the absence of the postmistress, said she was awakened by a sound of hammering, and on getting up discovered there were two policemen the premises.
P.C. Thomas said he was called to the Ledbury Post-Office, and there found a pane of glass had been removed from one of the lower windows. Witness got through the hole where the pane had been. He then heard a window opened, and rushed upstairs to where the sound came from.
He then saw the prisoner climbing over a wall, and witness, in company with Sergt. Lloyd, pursued him. They lost sight of the prisoner for a time, but afterwards discovered him in an outbuilding. Sergt. Lloyd corroborated.
Prisoner, who stated he had nothing to say, was committed to Hereford Assizes.
The Bench highly commended the witness. Florence Francis, and expressed hope that her conduct would be brought before the notice of the Postmaster General.


The Mary Eliza Roscoe referred to in the above had been the supervising clerk at the Office for some years. More about her can be found here


Another theft case mentioning a lot of local names!

From Evesham Standard & West Midland Observer February 23 1901
THE CHARGE AGAINST A TEMPORARY POSTMAN.
James Alfred Bliss was charged on remand, with stealing a letter containing postage stamps value 2s.3d. property of the Postmaster General.
Mr. Sweter (Gloucester) appeared for the prosecution, and said there was another charge against prisoner viz. stealing the sum of 10s. 7½d., the property of Thomas Shuck, of Froomes Hill.
The evidence showed that in October prisoner was employed at the Ledbury Post Office as a " holiday substitute," and delivered letters in the Bosbury and Froome's Hill district. His duties were clearly explained to him.
On October 5, Mrs. Shuck, wife of Thomas Shuck, of Froomes Hill, gave prisoner 10s. 7½d. for him to purchase a postal order for 10s 6d. from Ledbury Post Office, prisoner stating that the commission was 1½d. Three days later Mrs. Shuck asked prisoner for the postal order, and he said he was very sorry that he had forgotten it. He then asked for the letter, and said he would purchase the order and enclose it in the envelope. and post it at Ledbury. Mrs. Shuck wrote a letter, and enclosed stamps to the value of 2s. 3d., which she required posted with the order. Prisoner failed to give Mrs. Shuck a receipt for the money, although he was provided with a book of forms for that purpose.
On the following Saturday, not having heard of the letter and order reaching Mr. Samuel, of Manchester, to whom it was addressed, Mrs. Shuck asked. prisoner about it, and he persisted that he posted it the same night he received the letter. Mrs. Shuck's husband afterwards made a complaint to the Ledbury Post Office, and it was found that four postal orders were issued on October 8th, and none of these was purchased by prisoner.
Evidence was given by Mr.Shuck, Mrs. Shuck. Alfred Robert Davies assistant rnanager to Mr. Samuel, Manchester, who said that neither the letter, order, nor stamps, reached Mr. Samuel's establishment, Miss Roscoe (recently chief clerk at the Ledbury Post Office), Warren Hallowes (Cheltenham), Francis Jane Wesson sorting clerk at Ledbury Post Office, Edith Sergeant, and Frederick Page (butler to Mr. M Biddulph) and John Davies (Mitchell), both of whom purchased a 10s. 6d. order on that day. It was proved that the other two orders were sent to the Putley office.
P.S. John Lloyd stated that he apprehended prisoner at Ross, on a warrant, and. after cautioning him, the prisoner said, "I don't understand it, sergeant but I suppose I must go with you and face it out."
Prisoner asked no questions, and reserved his defence. He was then committed to the Hereford Assizes on Monday next.



This must be the oldest scam ever! How did he think he would get away with it?

From the Gloucester Citizen November 28th 1930.

SAVED BY PAST RECORD
POSTMAN D.C.M.'S OFFENCE: BOUND OVER AT LEDBURY
At Ledbury Police Court yesterday, Wilfred James Smith (37), of 27. Bridge street, Ledbury, a postman attached to the Ledbury Post Office, was charged with attempting to obtain money by forgery. He was represented by Mr. H. W. Orme (Russell and Co. Ledbury) and pleaded guilty.
Mr. F Carver (Hereford) prosecuting for the Postmaster General, said that on August 8th Smith sent a letter with betting slip containing postal orders to the value of £2 to a firm of London betting agents and date stamped it as if it had been posted at 1.30 p.m. that day in connection with a race which started 2.18 p.m.
Actually the letter was posted about 6 or 7 o'clock that evening when Smith had already seen the result of the race in an evening paper. The betting agents communicated the letter to the Post Office.
ADMITTED SENDING THE LETTER.
Percy Strong from the office of the General Secretary G.P.O. London in evidence said that when he interviewed Smith he admitted sending the letter and said he had a wife and five young children and found it difficult to live on his wages. It was stated that Smith had been in the Post Office service for 24 years and his conduct had been entirely satisfactory.
In the Great War he won the Military Medal and D.C.M. and was raised to the rank of sergeant on the field in 1916.
Mr. Orme made an earnest appeal for leniency in consideration of Smith's previous good character and Army record. The Bench told Smith that in view of his past record and also that he would be severely punished by the loss of his pension and position, they would deal with him under the First Offender's Act and bound him over for 12 months in the sum £1.