Doddington Historic Buildings

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No.21 The Old Post Office

The Post OfficeThe first Post Office in Doddington is believed to have been based in the Old House, alongside the Bakery. In the mid-nineteenth century, collections from outlying areas of the parish were made by a man blowing a bugle to call people out with their letters. At that time, post came from Lenham in a horse drawn wagon; once in Doddington, it was sorted and delivered, daily, by a man on foot. His task completed, the same gentleman would then go to his shed at the foot of the Post Office garden and mend peoples shoes. From the 1920's the post was delivered by bicycle from Sittingbourne - the weary post-man making himself a cup of tea in the post-office shed before returning to Sittingbourne with any mail collected from Doddington.THE STREET Sept 2000

The building housing the present Post Office was built in 1876 by Mr. John Jarvis of Down Court Farm; his family went on to run the shop until the 1970's. For some time around the turn of the century it was also a cycle shop. Mrs Phyllis Coleman, daughter of William Jarvis of Chequers Hill windmill, worked in the Post Office for many years around the 1950's and remembers there being two big counters running down either side of the shop. On the right was the drapery section and on the left the Post Office - which has been situated at various places around the shop in its time. On sale were numerous items such as hats, boots, kettles and saucepans - in addition to the foodstuffs which one would expect. There were no refrigerators; anything requiring cooling was kept in the cellar. In the absence of pre-packaged goods, everything had to be individually weighed out.
The Post Office was also the first place in the village to sell petrol before the arrival of a garage in Doddington.

In 1997 Doddington still boasted a thriving shop and Post Office which was at the centre of daily life and won a Special Award for Best Village Shop. However in 2000 the shop and post office closed and has now been converted into two dwellings.

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