Sometimes the stories we find in newspapers are not so happy. That often seems why they made it into the paper. But here’s a happier one – related to Christmas, but also to new beginnings, so I thought it would be right for a New Years’ article.
From the Herts & Cambs Reporter & Royston Crow, Friday, 15 December 1893, page 5.
“BUNTINGFORD [Hertfordshire, England]
PRESENTATION.—The Departure of Miss Saggers from the Buntingford Post Office to that of Biggleswade was generally regretted. She had been so long in her old post, and performed her duties so admirably, that she had won the goodwill of the whole town.”
According to the article, a committee had raised subscriptions to present her with a testimonial, nearly 15£, and with 7£ of that, they had bought her “a splendid marble clock with bronze figures, which was sent to Miss Saggers on Wednesday.”
The inscription on the clock read: “Presented to Miss Annie Saggers as a token of esteem and respect, and in recognition of her invariable kindness and courtesy during her 15 years’ service in the Post Office at Buntingford, Oct. 1st, 1893.”
The clock and the list of subscribers had been in the window of Mr. C. Hamilton1 for all to see and the Committee further “hope[s] to be able to send Miss Saggers, at Christmas, a cheque for 10£.”
There is also a short article in the same newspaper about her new appointment at Biggleswade, 1 September, 1893, page 5 – Buntingford. (Newspapers accessed from Findmypast.com; images from The British Library Board.)
The 1901 Census shows Annie Saggers living at Biggleswade in Bedfordshire, England, boarding with a family, and working as a Civil Servant in the Post Office. (She was then aged 39, born at Buntingford.)2 And the British Postal Service Appointment Book for 18933 shows her new appointment, November 1893, as a sorting clerk and telegraphist. I have not found her original appointment – yet.
I’d like to learn more about Annie, so please contact me if you recognize her.
I don’t know how much she would remember from today’s Biggleswade, but I believe at least a few buildings are still there. Interestingly in 1891, the rural district population was only 21, 864, while in 2017, Biggleswade’s population was estimated as 20,200.4 Of course there have been many changes since Annie was there.
To see a Biggleswade Local History Album on Flickr, created by steam60163, follow this link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/steam60163/albums/72157630414573282
Of course, I do wonder what happened to her clock! And I hope she did get the cheque.
1. Charles Hamilton was listed as a master Ironmonger in Buntingford in the 1891 census. I believe it was his shop the clock was displayed in. The National Archives of the UK (TNA); Kew, Surrey, England; Census Returns of England and Wales, 1891; Class: RG12; Piece: 1100; Folio: 69; Page: 1; GSU roll: 6096210. Ancestry.com. 1891 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.
2. Class: RG13; Piece: 1499; Folio: 57; Page: 27. Ancestry.com. 1901 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005. Original data: Census Returns of England and Wales, 1901. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives, 1901. Data imaged from the National Archives, London, England.
3. Ancestry.com. British Postal Service Appointment Books, 1737-1969 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. This collection was indexed by Ancestry World Archives Project contributors. Original data: Post Office: Staff nomination and appointment, 1831-1969. Microfilm, POST 58, 80 rolls. The Postal Museum. London, England.
4. 1891 population – Parliamentary Papers, Volume 8, Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons, H.M. Stationery Office, 1895, page 419. 2017 population – Biggleswade, Wikipedia, “Ward population estimates 2017”. Central Bedfordshire, referenced and linked: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biggleswade