Of Ten Mile Bank
According to the British Postal Service appointment books, Peckett Porter was appointed to the post office at Ten Mile Bank on 8th March 1858. Peckett Galloway Porter was born in Southery. He was the son of William Galloway Porter who was a Grocer so he would be familiar with the running of a store. Peckett died April 17th, 1892 aged 67 years. He is buried in St Marks cemetery. His burial record states he was from the Post Office.
Hannah took over the post office from April 1892 after the death of Peckett.
Kellys directory of 1896 lists Mrs Hannah Porter as sub postmistress of the
Post Office at Ten Mile Bank. Letters arrived from Downham at 7:30am and were
dispatched at 5:55pm. There was no Sunday delivery.
Mary Ann Porter is listed as a shopkeeper. It is unclear if this is the same shop.Kellys Directory of Norfolk 1896
In the 1901 census, Alfred Porter aged 32, is listed as a Grocer and Draper. His wife was Elizabeth aged 30. Also living with them was Alfred's mother Hannah as a widow. This is presumably the same Hannah listed as sub postmistress above five years earlier.
There is a notice of Elizabeth's death in a newspaper stating she died on February 8th 1904, aged 33 years. Elizabeth is buried in St Marks cemetery.
In 1909 Alfred Alexander Porter appeared at a petty sessions held in Downham Market. He was charged of stealing a certain post package containing 1lb of tea, in tranmission by post and the property of the Postmaster General on July 30th. There was a second charge of stealing 1lb of tea on November 2nd.
In consequence of complaints being received of loss of postal packages by the Ten Mile Bank post office, a clerk from the investigation branch of the general post office had been sent down from London to make enquiries. On 3rd of November he went to Ten Mile Bank post office with the postmaster of Downham Market and a member of the Metropolitan police.
When confronted Mr Porter stated that some parcels had been delivered and some had not. He explained that he was a tea dealer and that the sender was affecting his business by sending tea directly to customers within his district. Mr Porter handed over eight parcels postmarked July 29th and a further opened parcel of tea postmarked July 20th. He also agreed to a search of the property upon which further un-delivered parcels of tea were found.
The court heard that the parcels had been sent out by Messrs R. R. McCloud and Co. of Upper Thames Street. When asked the witness could produce no order for the tea. Also when asked if these people were customers on his books the witness said he did not know. The witness admitted that a circular had been sent out with specimen pounds of tea. They sold tea at a small profit to cut out the middle man.
Both Mrs Kisby and Mrs Cragg stated that they had never ordered any tea from Messrs McCloud.
Superintendent Sands gave evidence as to arresting the defendant on a warrant on the 18th December. He stated that the defendant was of good character and as there was no search warrant if the defendant had not consented there would have been no search.
The defence made the case that the prosecution had to prove that the defendant had the intention of permanently depriving the owner of the goods.
After a short discussion in private it was announced that the magistrates were of the unanimous opinion that there was no felonious intention proved. They therefore suggested that fresh summons be taken out for carelessness and negligence.
The defendant pleaded guilty. The bench ordered him to pay a fine of £11 and £6 11s 6d costs.
An article in November 1909 states that “lately the post office had been transferred to another general shop in the village”. James Stevens had the post office by 1929. James would have been 25 years old in 1909.
Authur Wm Freeman appears in the Post Office appointment books as being appointed as postman for Ten Mile Bank / Downham, under Nov 1911.
In this image the signage above the shop front appears to read 'Stevens' but the signage is dark in colour. The red postbox does not apear to be located in the wall. This image could pre-date it becoming the post office.
James William Stevens is listed in Kellys Directory of 1929 as being a cycle agent and dealer at the post office in Ten Mile Bank. He is also listed as a Grocer and Tea Dealer in the same directory.
J. W. Stevens is listed in the 1932 telephone directory as telephone number Southery 21. Also listed as Southery 21 is the Ten Mile Bank Call Office.
This image from the Francis Frith collection shows newer signage in a light colour. The postbox is now present in the wall.
This was the last remaining main shop in the village, and remained as the post office up until it closed sometime in the 1980s. It is now a residential property, but still has the postbox built into its front wall.
Up until sometime during the 1980s there was a greengrocer just off of station road.
For a short period the Windmill public house acted as a small shop during the day when the pub was closed.