Our History

First Post Office 1932A sub-post office was first opened at Down Cottage in Welcombe on 14th July 1930.

 The post mistress was Miss Ada Cornish.Ada Cornish at Work

In 1945 the post office moved to Star Cottage where it was run, first by Miss Lucy Jewell until 1956 and then by Mr Grimmett until 1959.

Three applications to take over the post office were received but one applicant withdrew because of the small salary offered. No change there then!

Rose and George Pendry were newcomers to the area. Whilst on holiday in the area, they had seen an advertisement for two new houses for let in Welcombe. They applied and were delighted to be offered No.1 Darracott. George was a carpenter by trade, but an accident at work had seriously damaged his feet and he became a London cabbie instead. George brought his cab to Welcombe, and although he had no license for it’s hire down here, he continued to drive it for the rest of his life. 

Rose took over and ran the Post Office from her home from 1959 until 1992. Sadly, two break-ins around Christmas time in 1991, left Rose unwell and hastened her decision to retire, which at age 79 was quite justified. 

Meanwhile,in the 1950’s Margaret Cornish decided to open a small shop in her front room at Leddon Farm. The farm’s own unpasturised milk and the home made scones became legendary. The shop at Leddon 1994In 1994, Margaret’s daughter-in-law, Elaine Cornish, took over the business and opened a splendid new shop in newly converted tailormade premises next door.
She also reopened the Post Office; Welcombe had it’s first shop and Post Office combined. Elaine ran the shop almost single handed for twelve years, opening seven days a week and closing only for a few days at Christmas. It was a real hub of the community and a valuable asset. 

By 2005, Elaine was finding that pressure from the supermarkets meant that making a living from running a village shop in such a small community was not easy and felt the time had come for a change. The community were very sad when the shop closed in March 2005 but we all understood Elaine’s difficult decision.

A very well supported village meeting was called in February 2005 to discuss ways in which a shop could be re-opened. The meeting was unanimous that a shop was needed and the idea of using volunteers to run the shop as a not for profit community venture was heavily supported. A steering group was appointed to explore solutions. It took sixteen months of hard work and dedication to raise funding, find premises, formulate the constitution and bring together all the other strands necessary to make the project a reality. It was a long and not always, straightforward process but the new shop finally opened for business on 21st June 2006. There was a grand opening on 1st July.