Saturday, January 30, 2016

Dating a picture of Shenley Post Office

The Star Coffee Tavern and Post Office, Shenley
This picture must have been taken by 1905, as it appears on a post card carrying this date. But how much earlier is it. I thought this would be an easy card to date but soon run up with a problem. The big house is clearly the "Star Coffee Tavern" and the Post Office is the shop to the left run by J A Tidey. However the big house is still standing and Google street view shows it is called The Old Post Office, and I could not find (in the limited time I had originally allocated) any reference to Tidey being the post master.

However a bankruptcy in 1903 suggests that Tidey may have become the postmaster when the previous postmaster had gone bankrupt - and if this is the case the photograph cannot have been tahen before 1903 - so it must be between 1903-1905.

The Star Coffee Tavern also gave problems - as the only reference I could find was in 1890 - but the most likely explanation is that the big house was multiply occupied - bu the baker and by a "Club House.

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