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Telgraph & Argus - 12th Aug 1999 - Last Post Sounds As Business Moves On

TERM OF OFFICE: Postmaster Stuart Rooney and his wife Helen.

Agatha and William who founded the post office in 1929.

How the post office used to look.

Original article.

"It'll be end of an era when couple take delivery of hi-tech shop"

"Last post sounds as business moves on"

It will be the end of an era on October 23 when Cottingley Post Office closes its doors for the last time after 70 years.

Postmaster Stuart Rooney and his wife Helen are moving the business out of 38 Main Street and into a hi-tech, computerised new branch in the Parade.

And it will be a sad day for former owner Margaret Frear who ran it with husband Eric for 28 years until 1981.

But it was her mother-in-law, the redoubtable Ida Agatha Frear, who founded the Post Office with husband William in 1929.

Margaret 79, of Manor Court, Cottingley, said: "She started the shop with a sixpence. One morning when william had gone to work she put some sweets in the window and sold them. When he came back from work he took them out again but she persevered."

She added: "The shop was her life. There was all sorts in it. A colonel came in one day and said it was like a penny bazaar.

"She put rows of string up and sold tea towels and a bit of everything from Dolly Blues - which whitened clothes washes - to black lead for cleaning fireplaces. There were cough medicine mixtures and yellow and white stones for cleaning front door steps."

Margaret and her husbband Eric took over the running of the shop in the late 1940s when William began suffering with emphysema.

But Ida's style lives on in the shape of Mrs. Rooney who has maintained the same open-house traditions.

Mrs. Rooney said: "It is the end of an era but we are looking to the future. The village now is on The Parade and you just can't stand alone.

"But I will continue to shop for older residents who need help and I'm still going to live in the building.

"I understand a lot of people in the village are upset because it's a meeting place but the majority are understanding about it.