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    The Lye Family and Tickhill Postal Service


Ken Kimberley has provided material about Tickhill’s Post Office, a Sub-Post Office of the Rotherham District from 1840 until it was transferred to the Doncaster Postal District on 1 May 1937. This explains why many 19th Century letters were headed Tickhill, Rotherham, rather than Tickhill, Doncaster. Before 1840 Tickhill was a Receiving Office and came within first the

Worksop then the Bawtry postal area. The Binge family who ran the Red Lion at the beginning of the 19th Century also, for some years, were in charge of the Post Office. In the Victorian era, mail was brought from Rotherham in a red-painted dog-cart with the initials V.R. on the back, pulled by a fast-trotting horse. The cart reached Westgate at 5.45 a.m. with the driver sounding his horn to announce his arrival. The cart returned from Bawtry at 8.15 p.m. on its way back to Rotherham. In the early 20th Century there were two daily dispatches of mail (Monday-Saturday) via Rotherham at 11.45 a.m. and 8.15 p.m. The Sunday dispatch was at 4.45 p.m. Parcel post began on 1 August 1883 when a two horse van was introduced.  

From 1840 until 1948 Tickhill’s Post Office remained with the same family - the Lyes - a remarkable instance of service to the community by one family, and also an example of how long some people continued to work. The family members in charge of the Post Office were:


Reuben                   1840-1850 (died in 1850 aged 70)

Mary                      1850-1862 (she was aged 37 when she became Postmistress)

George Frederick         1862-1896 (In the 1881 Census, then aged 60, he was listed as a Postmaster and Plumber, later he was listed as Postmaster and Stationer; he died in 1896 aged 76)

Louisa                     1896-1915 (second wife, then widow of George Frederick; she died in

1915 aged 70)

Louisa Ann              1915-1948 (daughter of George Frederick and Louisa; Louisa Ann

died in August 1950 aged 83, the last link between the Lyes and the

Postal Service)


The Post Office business included issuing Money Orders from 1850 and a Post Office Savings Bank started in 1861. In the late 19th Century a Telegraph service began and in the 20th Century the Post Office had a public telephone. The Lyes acted as newsagents and sold ice cream and confectionery, for example. 


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