The arrival of the penny post in 1840 must have meant a broadening connection for Penallt with the outside world, though until he got a bicycle the poor postman had to walk up from Monmouth. Postcards were introduced in 1870, and postal orders in 1881. Wall letter boxes were inaugurated in 1885, though as late as 1891 “half the total posted had no address and people were pushing letters into boxes together with their pennies instead of stamps”. A great convenience! It was 1897 before delivery to every house became compulsory.
In the Parish Newsletter in 1980 we wrote: “Sad as it is to hear of Mrs Parker giving up the post office after so long – 45 years, and in her family for close on 100 – it is good to know that she is going to take things a little more restfully – and with a splendid presentation gold watch. We will all continue to be competently and kindly dealt with for our pensions, stamps and usual services at the shop – “Tuesday and Saturday afternoons early closing”.”
Alas, the shop also disappeared, and in 1986, with the Post Office newly established in Lone Lane, we wrote: “We are asked to appeal to parishioners to use our local Post Office. There is an advantage in not having to queue there! But if the number of customers continues to fall it will have to be given up – and we are lucky in having the little Post Office with its distinctive country village atmosphere.”
[from: Penallt – A Village Miscellany]