Rosalind was born in Fordingbridge Hampshire and moved to Dunmow when she was about 6 years old. Her father was a woodwork teacher and he said the schools were better in Essex. Rosalind, also known as Ross or Ra, first lived in the Close in Dunmow. The Close was a converted Poor House. When Ros was about 12 she moved to a house on The Downs in Dunmow. Ros went to Herts and Essex School in Bishop Stortford and left when she was 16 in 1938 after having taken the school certificate. The Postmaster was her neighbour at The Downs and mentioned to her parents that there was a vacancy at the Post office. This was because a new Post Office was due to open in Dunmow. Ros said her parents were very friendly with the post master and they spent Christmases together so that is how she knew about the job vacancy. At first Ros went to Bishop Stortford Post Office to train.This was only for a few weeks.Then Ros went to Dunmow Old Post Office, transferring to the new building when it opened. Ros worked on the counter in the Post Office.Then everyone had to buy their National Insurance stamp at the Post Office.She also sent telegrams.To send a telegram she had to go into a room and use a telephone in the Post Office and read it aloud.
The most memorable day was the day war started. Her father cycled to the post office with her gas mask.
Rosalind Harvey, Dufftown kindly contributed her memory using the online form
Additional InformationThe Close, Dunmow
Prior to its transfer for residential use after 1932, the Close buildings were the location of Dunmow Workhouse, one of several in the area. During World War I the building was used for the billeting of soldiers.
Additional Photo of The Close “The Close, now a residential area, formerly a workhouse incorporating hospital, stables, blacksmiths. Later used as a prisoner of war camp in WWII. One of the first workhouses to be converted into residential accommodation.”
The Downs, Dunmow
On this Francis Frith website there are lots of photos showing the Downs in the past. People have added their memories of living in this place. There are also 52 other photos/memories of the Great Dunrow area here including the Dunmow Post Office mentioned in Rosalind’s memory above.