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Post Office and Shop

Rene and Dennis Abigail took over the Post Office in September 1964. The previous Postmaster and his wife (Mr.& Mrs.Walter Woods) had been there for 25 years and had provided the community with not only Post Office services, but also the basic food rations during the war years. Although we are not sure when the Post Office first opened in Santon Downham, the date stamp was issued in 1924; so this could be a guide. There were at least three other Postmasters that we know of -Mr.Macdougal, Mr. Claxton and Mr. Matthews, in that order.

Rene And Denis Abbigale > Simply click to enlarge... then use the [Back] button to returnWhen Rene and Dennis came, they gradually increased the stock over the years and now sell a variety of frozen food, confectionery, stationery and grocery to name but a few of the many commodities available.

There have been many changes in those 36 years. The village, which was owned by the Forestry Commission, has gradually become a community owning their own private properties; new houses and bungalows built on land sold to them by the Forestry Commission and existing houses bought by the tenants. Also the surrounding forest area has been opened up to the public for recreation: i.e. picnic areas, nature trails and bridle paths for riding. This has all helped to bring in some extra business for the shop.

Sadly this year (May 2000) the Post Office has closed, but it is hoped that the Village Shop will remain open to offer a small service to the village, for some time to come. Customers are still able to purchase postage stamps. The posting box, which was installed during the reign of George VI remains in the same place, and the post is collected at the same times each day.

Written by Rene Abigail, July 2000 C Transcribed and photography by V.B. Moran

A Forest Heath District Council (Suffolk) Project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the Millennium Festival 2000 Designed by ArtAtac