Former Slinfold post mistress remembered

Lois White, who ran a post office from her own home in Slinfold, has died aged 92. She is pictured receiving her British Empire Medal in 1985
Lois White, who ran a post office from her own home in Slinfold, has died aged 92. She is pictured receiving her British Empire Medal in 1985

A great-grandmother who ran a post office from her own home in Slinfold throughout the 1980s died last month at the age of 92.

Lois White, who received a British Empire Medal for services to the community, including 50 years with the post office, died in Horsham Hospital on July 11.

Born on July 21 1922, Lois lived all her life in Slinfold.

Her family said Lois went to work as a post office clerk in Slinfold Post Office aged 17, and continued working there until 1979, 40 years later, when the post office closed.

Concerned about the closure and that elderly residents in particular would not have access to a post office, Lois decided to relocate the office within her home.

In doing so she became the village post mistress until failing eyesight necessitated her retirement ten years later, after 50 years with the post office.

She received a BEM in the Queen’s New Years Honours List in 1985, and was presented with her medal by the Duchess of Norfolk at Arundel Castle in May 1985.

Lois married Stan on May 16 1943. They had one son, Roger, in 1945.

Her family said she spent many happy years before, during and after the Second World War at her parents’ home of Town House Farm, Slinfold.

She recalled her father sleeping in the stables during the war, to release the horses should the stables become engulfed by flames.

Lois, Stan and Roger moved to Lyons Road, Slinfold in 1948.

Through her work in the post office, Lois became a well known figure in the village and became a centre of information for both residents and visitors to Slinfold, her family said.

Such information was valuable to a German family trying to trace a plane that crashed near Slinfold, as Lois was able to supply an approximate position where their relatives’ plane crashed.

Lois was so dedicated to her work that sometimes, while finalising the weekly accounts, she would stay up into the night looking for just a few pence.

Aside from her passions for the post office and Slinfold, she was a keen gardener and knitter. For many years she would exhibit her vegetables, flowers and knitted items in the annual Slinfold Fete, winning many prizes.

Lois and Stan also enjoyed dancing and attended regular functions over many years. Her main joy was her family.

She leaves Stan, her husband of 72 years, her son and daughter-in-law, three grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

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