The History of Retail and Services in Cottesmore:
Although a postal service had been in existence in England since 1526, it was Charles 1 who introduced the Postal Service for use by the general public in 1635. Recipients paid the deliverer depending on the weight, size and distance travelled. In 1840 the Penny Post was introduced in Great Britain and Ireland. Adhesive stamps were bought by the sender. As Great Britain was the first country to issue pre-paid stamps, these are the only stamps in the world which do not bear the name of the country of issue.
In Cottesmore in 1850 Ann Lambert ran a grocer’s shop. She was the designated person for receiving and dispatching the post. Letters arrived at 9.00am each day and were dispatched at 4.00pm. The postman walked up from Oakham twice a day. By 1855 Mrs Mahala Cramp was the receiver and dispatcher of letters. Any money orders or other PO business was done at Oakham.
In the1981 census, Mrs Lydia Preston was named as a grocer and Post Mistress.
By the end of the nineteenth century post was arriving by post chaise at 7.10am and was dispatched 6.20pm.
The first mention of a Post Office was made in 1908 when Charles Bond was known as the Post Master and Fancy Stationer but it was not until 1916 that Charles Bond was able to deal with money orders and the village had a telephone. Letters were then arriving from Oakham twice a day at 6.55am and 1.45pm and were dispatched at 11.40am and 6.25pm!
In 1928 Charles Winter was the Post Master and after his death his wife continued the business in the cottage opposite the present building until she became ill around 1959 when the Post Office put in a temporary manager. After this the Post Office was transferred into the new building across the road and the grocer and baker Mr Strickland became the Post Master. Mr Strickland and his son were both Master Bakers and people remember the lovely cakes and the coffee shop at this time. His son and daughter Bruce and Sue Strickland followed him then sold the business to Gladys and John Storr. They in turn sold it to Monica and Paul Deacon. In 1994 Mr and Mrs Griffin the parents of the present Post Mistress, Amanda Lewis bought it. Amanda worked for her parents from this time then in 2007 she and her husband, Graham bought the business.