Hail the Co-op
During these difficult times a word of praise and gratitude for the staff at Nettleham Co-op. They have served the community well. They and we look forward to the time when the queues are at the tills instead of round The Green.
We should also thank Alfred Mansford for coming to Nettleham in 1872 and building his general store on Walnut Close. He established himself as a grocer and draper with a bit of financial help from Mr. Vickers at the Plough. Such was his success that he did not need his support for long. By 1896 the shop was in his sole ownership.
The post office was moved from a cottage in Church Street. The picture shows its location to the left with a very small letter box. There was obviously a big demand for buckets and on show are 8 pairs of braces. Strange, too, is the supply of large travelling trunks.
Mr. Mansford was not only the owner of the largest shop in Nettleham but was also a councillor, a school governor, a manager of the evening institute and a staunch Methodist among his many other attributes. His apprentices lived over the shop which boasted a bakery at the back. He was a generous man especially to young people. He gave over one of his shop windows to display the articles that the students had made in their evening classes and gave them end of term tea parties which often included a lantern slide show.
His successor was Mr. Arthur Larder who took over the shop in 1918. He had been manager of the Co-op shop in Horncastle. The space behind the shop was tuned into a tennis court which proved popular with players from Lincoln as well as by Elsie Borman, one of his hard working staff who, apparently, was also a good tennis player. Mr. Larder sold out to the Lincolnshire Co-operative Society in 1947. Thanks go to Pearl Vose who recalls the Co-op story in her book, Nettleham Yesteryears.
The Parish Council records tell us that in 1899 the Council was asked if Nettleham wished to continue having postal deliveries on Christmas Day and Good Friday. The Lincoln Postmaster received a positive response. Up until the Second World War the milkman and the postman made deliveries on Christmas morning - and collected a Christmas box.
About 1900 Mr. Mansford asked the Council to apply for a telegraph connection. The decision was taken to apply so long as it did not cost more than £20. A resolution was passed and a deed of arrangement was received “between the Council and the Post Office Authority whereby the Council agrees to pay one half the difference between the amount received from telegrams at Nettleham office and the sum of £29 in any separate year after opening the said office for telegraph purposes”.
The venture proved such a success and profits so good the parish did not get a bill from the Lincoln Postmaster in 1906. By 1910 a call phone was set up in the post office It cost 2 pence (1p now) to call Lincoln. However, in 1929 the Council was informed that the phone rate to Lincoln would be raised to 4d. Naturally this was too much to swallow and objections lodged. The postmaster climbed down and the 2d. rate was restored.
In July 1936 The Council gave permission for the GPO to install a wire across The Green to service a telephone kiosk At this time telegrams were still being delivered from Lincoln by staff on a motor bike.
The Council frequently made complaints to the Lincoln Postmaster. In 1904 it “was considered inconvenient “that the post for the village arrived in the afternoon but was not delivered until the next day. He was also “threatened” to alter his ways and see that post was delivered to outlying properties on time. Who would want to be Postmaster in Lincoln when you would have to deal with the Parish Council in Nettleham?
Nettleham Heritage Association