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Nelson Historical Society Journal, Volume 1, Issue 6, March 1964

Post Office

Post Office

Stoke's first post office was situated on the Main Road in the house occupied by Mr. Pearce (1949). The first postmistress was Mrs. Beattie, who also conducted a shop in conjunction with the post office. Mrs. Beattie was a daughter of T. Cresswell who came out on one of the first ships. In those days, the mail used to come out from Nelson once a day on the ten to five train.

Some years later, the Post Office was moved to the school house, the headmaster at that time being Mr. Naylor, and his daughter. Miss Charlotte Naylor (now Mrs. Heath) was the postmistress. At this stage, it is believed the mail was carried by Holders coach which left Wakefield each morning and returned each evening.

The next situation was back in the original position at Beattie's shop, but now the postmistress was a Miss Barry. Before long it had still another move, this time to the house occupied by [unclear: Mr]. D. Giblin (1949). In those days it belonged to a Mrs. Fellowes, and the Post Office rented her front room, and put Miss Condell (now Mrs. J. A. Harley) in as postmistress.

As the years went by the Stoke residents considered they should be better served and petitioned the Government for a proper Post Office building. However, when it came to deciding on the site a very bitter controversy arose, and page 6it seems that some residents even came to blows on the subject. Finding it impossible to reconcile the two factions, the authorities purchased the present site without referring to anyone, and then one morning Stoke awoke to find that its Post Office was a reality — it had arrived overnight in one piece. Its poor appearance caused a storm of indignation, and old animosities were pushed aside as both factions joined forces in an endeavour to secure a more dignified looking structure. Messrs. Gilbert, Reynolds and Biggar went to Wellington as a deputation from the residents, but all to no avail, and today the same pretentious building is in position (i.e., 1949.)