Victorian Post Box - Red Cow, Dry Street, Langdon Hills

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Photo:Waiting restoration

Waiting restoration

Ken Porter

By Ken Porter

On the bottom left corner of the building known as the Red Cow you can see a Victorian Post Box.

The Red Cow had been for many years the local Post Office and general store. It closed down in the mid 1970s when its owner Paul Lucy and his wife opened up a new green grocery business in the new Triangle Shopping Centre in Langdon Hills High Road.

But what happened to the post box? – well, it was obtained by the Langdon Hills and District Conservation Society (now ceased) and has been languishing in the garden of Geoff Williams, (local Councillor) as part of his BBQ.

Geoff believes it now requires a new home and has given it to Basildon Heritage who will endeavour, with the help of donations and grants, to have it restored to its former glory and then hopefully have it displayed at Wat Tyler Park.

I believe it is one of only two Victorian Post boxes in the Basildon Borough, the other being at Laindon Common.

This page was added by Ken Porter on 13/06/2015.
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I did a search on the Archived British Newspapers website and found the following articles in the Chelmsford Chronicle under ‘Essex Licensing’.  Perhaps there’s a clue here.

21st February 1930.

Mr Thomas Mole of the Red Cow Beer Shop, Dry Street, Langdon Hills, applied for the transfer of his off-licence to No. 1 Nightingale Parade, High Road, Langdon Hills.  Mr Gerald Dobson said Mr Mole desired to move his premises to a more central position.  Many residents favoured the removal – opposition was entered by Rev. R Cleminson, Pastor T. W Shepherd and Mrs M Bond.  After retirement, the bench said the application was refused.  

17th April 1931   

Confirmation was applied for of the removal of a beer off-licence from the Red Cow, Dry Street, Langdon Hills, to premises in Nightingale Parade, High Road.   Mr G A Block for the applicant said his client held an excise licence to sell wines and spirits at Nightingale Parade, and he was also licensee of the Red Cow.  It was decided to amalgamate the two licences and transfer the beer licence to Nightingale Parade – confirmed.

By Nina Humphrey(née Burton)
On 31/08/2015

The Red Cow in Dry Street was, in 1927/8, known as the Red Cow Off Licence and was run by T. Mole. Suppliers of ale and stout as brewed by Mann, Crossman and Paulin Ltd. They even delivered your order to your home address. When it became the post office I cannot say but maybe they were one and the same at the same time? Messrs. Bathurst or Porter might be able to sort this one? Or the diligent researcher Mrs Humphrey?

By Donald Joy
On 31/08/2015

I have an identical photo of Dry Street Post Office that I took in black and white.

By Brian Baylis
On 29/08/2015

As I have indicated there are very few Victorian Post boxes around but how about the 'GR' ones. If anybody is aware of one in and around the Basildon Borough please let us know.

By Ken Porter
On 14/06/2015

That is very good news.  If only the ‘Gold Crown’ that used to adorn the front of the Crown Hotel could be located – that would be amazing.  Apparently it’s been missing ever since the building changed hands and became a ‘Harvester’.

By Nina Humphrey(née Burton)
On 14/06/2015
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