Archives dated 1894 state that Mrs Diana Kitchen ran the Post Office, then in 1921 Mrs Sarah Dent was in charge of both the Post and Telegraph Office. At one time the Post Office was used to provide accommodation for the workers at Lord Brougham’s Estate laundry.
Mr and Mrs Hall bought the laundry from Lord Brougham and it continued to be a working business for many years. The laundry was then sold and modernised and is now two houses. Mrs Hall lived in the cottage next to the Post Office during her retirement.
Among the other establishments were a sweet shop owned by Jamieson’s, which was on the Penrith side of the bridge and is now known as Jesmond. Mrs Jamiesons uncle was a Cumberland and Westmorland wrestler and won many cups and the Londsdale belt. The sweet shop and the Post Office were closed and combined by Mrs Russell Smith who opened them at the Bungalow.
The local policeman was called Stamper and lived at the house just over Lowther bridge–he was often seen on his bike wearing his police cape.
In recent times Mrs Nora Hall ran the Post Office, at first selling sweets and bread, although now a mobile Post Office calls in each week.
Jos Sarginson’s was the local building contractor, undertaker and saw mill owner he is listed as a joiner and carpenter in the 1885 and 1894 directory although another joiner is also listed for the village that of William Swainson
Mr Sarginson’s business was started in 1882 and set up in a building, which had previously been a stable with a barn loft over it. Materials for local work were carried on a horse-drawn cart, driven and looked after by Harry Savage who lived at Low Mill where the horse was stabled.
A building is shown on this site from 1818 and the land was owned by the Carleton Cowpers until 1947 when it was sold–before it became a mill it may have been a smithy as in 1843 the land or building was called Smithy hill. The sawmill appears to have been attached to the bobbin mill to the south in 1858.
John Sarginson eventually bought the joinery business, he has now retired and his nephew Ian Clayton ran the business for a number of years until it was sold. Part of the building was a hair dressers until recently –this has since closed too.
The wood yard buildings
There were two smithies in the village, horses carried out farming deliveries so shoeing them was major part of the job.
John Robson was the blacksmith in 1829 and by 1894 the Griffith brothers were the blacksmiths and farriers. When Mr. Woodburn took over he still had use of both shops, but in about 1934 the shop across from Park Holme was converted into a bungalow.
Also in the village was a steam engine and threshing business, which was run by Mr W. Wharton. Sheep and cattle were a common sight being driven through the village to the Auction or to the railway station by the farmers with their men and dogs to make sure the animals didn’t stray into the back lanes. Ducks and Geese used to be walked to market by road and their feet used to be dipped in tar to save wear and tear–there’s a local saying –‘ga-an to Shap to shoe ducks’ , cattle were shod with iron plates for the same reason.
A notorious gang of highwaymen and burglars operated in this area in 1819, they used to rob people coming back from Penrith Market on a Tuesday. They were John Woof – Melkinthorpe – farmer – HANGED, William Armstong – Eamont Bridge Farm -labourer – HANGED, John Little alias Sowerby – Clifton Dykes – swill maker – HANGED, William Tweddle - Penrith – labourer -turned Kings evidence and was spared hanging but was transported to Van Demens Land while there he escaped and joined a gang of criminals but when they found out that he had turned Kings evidence they hung him. For 18 months before their arrest hardly a Tuesday went by that someone returning from Penrith market was robbed and in some cases left bleeding by the road side in at least one case they dug a grave for their intended victim beforehand, this was done in Bessy Ghyll wood near Thrimby for a farmer who was attending Shap fair and was expected to have a good sum of money with him. They had stretched a wire across the road just high enough to drag a rider from his horse luckily the farmer decided on a different route that day. The detection of the gang was due to Mr Robinson of Kings Meaburn who had been robbed and beaten by them but recognised William Tweddle who was arrested but turned Kings evidence and disclosed the gang this led to the arrest of Woof and Armstrong but Sowerby escaped to Newcastle where he to was arrested, they were committed to assizes at Carlisle in August of 1820. There were several charges against these men but the only one they were tried for was the breaking and entering of the house of John Wilson of Soulby on the 22nd of December 1819
Events and services