'I was there when the old Chippenham branch opened – in 1959’
Post Office veteran George Farquhar was at the official opening of the old post office branch 54 years ago.
The 87-year-old, pictured, who lives in Frogwell, was one of a select few invited to the 1959 opening, along with the Mayor, Coun Norris and Conservative MP Sir David Eccles, who bought a savings certificate from Chippenham cashier Doug Stone.
At the age of 14, George started a career with the Post Office spanning 42 years. He earned 10 shillings and eight pence a week as a telegram boy. It was 1939 and three weeks before Germany invaded Poland, and he remembers you had to salute the postmaster in the street.
George became a field postmaster himself when called up to work in the forces at 19. He went out to India, Singapore and Malaya in a G4 Royal Navy submarine.
He remembers the excitement of soldiers collecting news from home, adding: “You always looked forward to your mail.”
On his return to Chippenham in 1947, where he had lived since the age of 11, he started working in the Market Place, where he met his wife Netta, a telegraphist.
He worked at number 41-43 until retiring in 1981 and was sad to see it close its doors, saying: “I never thought it would go like that.”
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