Goonhavern Post Office; Goonhavern Stores & Bridge Stores

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This page shows the history of Goonhavern Post Office at the three different locations in the village over a hundred plus years; Goonhavern Stores (now demolished) & Bridge Stores.

Goonhavern Ye Olde Shoppe as the wording said over the shop entrance started (Mr Bill Chandler put the wording up in late 1965 or early 1966) life as a Stores in about 1892 with Mr & Mrs John Ford. John Ford had traveled all over the UK as a Mine Captain but returned to Goonhavern to retire from that life. Unfortunately he passed away in 1904 with a young family leaving Mrs Mary (Granny) Ford to run the business. By 1910 the Shop incorporated a Post Office. It continued as such until 1942 when Granny Ford died and widow Hilda Stephens her daughter moved the Post Office down the road to the property built by her husband Charlie Stephens “Charlens” in about 1943.

Goonhavern Ye Olde Shoppe now became the property of Oscar & Winnie Grigg (brother & sister) and they ran the shop as a shop only until mid 1960’s when after their death Mr & Mrs Reg & Betty Chandler bought the shop. This they ran until Easter 1971 when it was compulsory purchased by the council, so it could be demolished for a road widening project in 1971/72.

©2016 Derek Brooks

Once Widow Granny Ford died her daughter Hilda sold the shop to the Grigg’s and  a widow herself moved the Post Office to the other side of the road to the house (Charlens) built by her late husband Charles Stephens.

“Charlens” now a Post Office in 1943 remained a Post Office and Sorting Office with five postmen, inc one a lady (who used to cycle her round) covering Callestick, Penhallow, Ventongimps, Perranwell, Rose, Wheal Hope & Goonhavern.

Hilda Stephens lived there with her daughter Mary McCameron a widow and her grandson  Chester McCameron. Both Hilda & Mary ran the Post Office, until 1953, when Mary remarried. Mary & Joe Brooks moved down to Avalon just down the road and had a son.

In 1959 Hilda Stephens retired and moved down to Avalon with Mary’s first son Chester McCameron, and Mary, Joe & young Derek moved up to run and live in the Post Office. Hilda tragically died in 1961.

Mary again became a widow in 1965, and soon married Henry Rodda, who briefly incorporated a Butchers Shop within the Post Office building. This was the late 1960’s early 1970’s.  In 1978 Mary Rodda retired on ill health, and both stayed living in the village.

The Post Office was now taken over by Welshman Mr Jones. Not a friendly chap, perhaps his disability did not help his mood.

Finally Jim Gilbert took over from Mr Jones, and lived there until he retired in 2005 on ill health, and the building reverted back to a dwelling.

©2016 Derek Brooks

Part 7 – Bridge Stores:

Mr & Mrs Reg Chandler moved to a new premises built on the entrance to Carriage Parc (what was once the Railway cutting – the old railway bridge stonework can be seen by the verge on the edge of the car park into the park) on Bridge Road at Easter in 1971 after their Stores on the main road (ex Granny Ford-Winnie Grigg’s) was demolished by Cornwall County Council Highways (see Part 5).

After Betty Chandler various new owners took over the Stores only keeping it for a short time.

These owners were Barry and Beryl Oakley, Dennis and Pam Shepherd, Roy and Joan Stratton (-1987), Bob & Janice Kemp (1987-1995), David & Jean Allsop (1995-2001) and Peter & Maria Gartan (2001-2008).

In November 2006 under Peter & Maria Gartan it became a Stores and Post Office with the closure of the previous Post Office at “Charlens” when Mr Jim Gilbert retired. However it was short lived as by 2008 the Stores & Post Office ceased trading at a great loss to the village.

Luckily it was a brief closure, as on 30th March 2010 it reopened under the ownership of the “White family” Susan (Sue), Husband Ashley & Daughters Claire (now a Tonkin) & Michelle.

On 4th May 2010 the Village Post Office returned to the stores. Since then the business has thrived. In August 2013 work started on an extension of the Store and Post Office, and by the end of January 2014 the work was completed enlarging the store by at least a third to cater for increased business. It is now modern, spacious and well laid out. A new store room is being built in August 2016.

©2016 Derek Brooks

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