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Streets through time - Church Street
No 9 The Ramblers (Old Post Office)


Originally half of a pair of stone houses, numbered 7 and 9 Church Street,  the house now called The Old Post Office has a red brick front and pantile roof. It was built c. 1770 and remodeled in 1790, with late 19th and 20th century additions and alterations. There is a 1790 date plate on the front of The Lilacs next door, from when George de Ligne Gregory installed the brick front to the property.  Further additions and alterations have been made to the property in the 19th and 20th centuries.

No 7 and 9 Church Street used to be four homes, which consisted of a living room, on the ground floor with a bedroom upstairs that was accessed via a ladder. 

Number 9 Church Street used to be known as “The Ramblers”. In fact all the properties in Church Street were named after plants. When the Dimmocks in May Tree House opposite gave up the post office it was transferred here as shown in the 1960's photo below and was run by a Mrs Gibson as recalled by Pat Hollingsworth. The building was renamed “The Old Post Office” by owners in the 1990s. The land now occupied by 11 Church Street was originally stabling and field belonging to 9 Church Street.

Alfred Winter Harris was born here in 1861 to parents John (b.1927) and Ann Harris (b. 1926) and lived most of his life here. He had three sisters - Fanny (b. 1850), Mary (b. 1867) and Elizabeth (b. 1870). He also had three brothers - John (b. 1857), Andrew (b. 1863) and Walter (b.1865). The 1891 census records Alfred as the head of the family at this address and married to Urania.

Alfred's wife was Urania Stevens, originally a housemaid at the Manor, though later she became Housekeeper.  She was originally from Holbroke in Derbyshire. They had 5 children - Frank, Albert, Emily Mable, Alfred and Ann.  Frank was one of 18 village men lost in the First World War. There was a much happier ending for their youngest daughter Ann who married Frank Marriott, the boy next door in 1927.

Alfred Winter Harris was the village 'carrier ' using a horse and cart to transport people and goods around the village and beyond. This service ran up until the mid 1920's and there was a daily cart to the Blue Bull in Grantham. It lapsed as motorised transport became more common when the service reduced to twice weekly and finally just a Saturday service by 1929. He was still the registered tenant at the time of the 1937 estate sale as shown above. By 1939 up until his death he had a property at 1 The Drift, which he operated as smallholder.

The picture left was taken approximately 1905 and shows one of Alfred's horses, with three of his children: Emily Mabel, Alfred (jnr) and Albert, holding the bridle.

Right: Urania Harris (nee Stevens) pictured front left outside the front door of Harlaxton Manor with other staff.  

Alfred and Urania's eldest son, Frank was born in 1891 in Harlaxton. He was clearly an educated man as the 1911 Census shows him aged 20 as a school teacher boarder, living with Henry Surrel  - a baker at 70 Arch Street, Rugeley (Litchfield). Frank served in the First World war with the 8th Bn. Lincolnshire Regiment.
He married Emma Marr, also from the village in 1915 shortly after he joined up and the couple had a daughter Gwendoline A. Harris who was born in 1916.
Frank was killed on 14 March 1918 at Ypres. Sadly Emma too died young, passing away in 1922 at the age of 33.

Ann Harris married who married Frank Marriott, the boy next door in 1927. In this wedding photograph Urania is the lady bottom right .

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