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From Historical Hastings
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Town Council Meetings

The Postal Question. At the Council Meeting on the 1st of January, the following communication was read: “General Post Office, Dec 30th, 1857. Sir, the Postmaster General, having had under consideration the letter from the Town Clerk of Hastings and also your letter of the 18th instant, I am directed to inform you in reply that the question of establishing one chief Post Office for the towns of Hastings and St Leonards was carefully considered and discussed some years since, when it was decided that the present plan of having a separate and distinct chief Office for each place was the best arrangement, having regard to the postal accommodation of the inhabitants of both places generally. His Grace directs me to add that there does not appear to be any new circumstance in the case which would justify a compliance with the request of the Town Council of Hastings. I am, Sir, your obedient servant J. Tilley.”

The foregoing letter was addressed to the Mayor (Mr. J. Rock jun), who remarked that the matter still remained open.

Ald. Ross wished it to be understood that the Council did not intend to let the matter drop. The Postmaster’s reply was hardly courteous. Most persons who read that official’s communication, and the Town Clerk’s letter to which it was a reply, will be of opinion that the latter whilst being even less courteous, also exhibited a commanding and imperious attitude of the Town Council. That letter of the Town Clerk’s was as follows:

“My Lord Duke: At a meeting of the Council of the Borough of Hastings held on the 4th day of December the following resolutions were passed: Resolved that the calling of the town of Hastings by any other than its proper name is injurious to its best interest as a watering place and that this Council do agree that all that portion of the Borough of Hastings which lies to the east of the Archway, which is the boundary of the township of St Leonards, shall henceforth be styled Hastings, and the names streets and places written up accordingly; Resolved that the foregoing resolution be forwarded to the Postmaster General, requesting his lordship to take into his consideration the necessity of making an alteration in the postal regulations of this borough, and that there should be only one post office for the whole borough.

The Postal Question

“The reason of the last resolution being passed is because there is great confusion in the delivery of letters owing to a certain proportion of the Borough being styled St. Leonards, which is quite wrong, as all the property on the east side of the St. Leonards Archway is strictly Hastings, and nothing can be legally shewn to the contrary. Therefore the Council-