Case Study 1: J H Laurence, Head Postmaster
This case study shows you what kind of information can be found from our records. It takes you through, step by step, what we did in order to find out more about J H Laurence, Head Postmaster at Shepton Mallet.
Finding something is not always guaranteed, but even if you only have a rough idea of a date of birth, you may still be able to find something new.
We were asked to find out more about Mr J H Laurence - all we were told was that he had been Head Postmaster at Shepton Mallet in Somerset in the 1960s...and here is how we did it!
Step 1- Establishment Book
The first step was to confirm whether or not Mr Laurence had been Head Postmaster at Shepton Mallet. To do this, we had a look at the Establishment Books in POST 59.
We found an entry in the Establishment Book for 1961 confirming that Mr Laurence was a Head Postmaster at Shepton Mallet in the South West postal region. As you can see from the image below, other information includes his date of birth (2 April 1905), when he first became Head Postamster of Shepton Mallet (1 July 1947) and the date of his first appointment to the Post Office (1924).
Step 2 - Post Office Magazine
From the Establishment Book, we learnt that he was born in 1905, which meant that he would have retired in 1965. Unfortunately, the Pensions and Gratuities records only go up to 1959 so we had to look at an alternative source of information - the Post Office Magazine.
We had a look at the Post Office Magazine for 1965, and as you can see from the image below, we found an entry on J H Laurence's retirement. He is pictured receiving a gift from the Acting Head Postmaster, Mr A L Tinkler.
Step 3 - Portfolio Collection
The Portfolio Collection has material that has been drawn from a wide variety of sources. These include copies of previous research papers, cuttings from magazines and newspapers, and photographs.
We found a Portfolio on Shepton Mallet. Unfortunately, we did not find a photograph of Mr Laurence or of the post office there. However we did find a programme for the Ceremonial Opening of the New Telelphone Exchange at Shepton Mallet. You can see (below) that the Chair of the event was Mr Laurence.
We are always looking for more information to add to our Portfolio Collection. If you have any photographs or information on Mr Laurence or on Shepton Mallet post office that you would be happy for us to include in the Portfolio Collection, please contact us.