246 HISTORY OF EAST GRINSTEAD.
Postmaster-General acceded to a very numerously-signed petition and allowed the East Grinstead office to be closed from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Four years later all the Post Offices of the country were entirely closed on Sundays by order of Parliament, but the innovation caused such intense excitement throughout the country that the order was soon rescinded, and the East Grinstead office was only entirely closed from Sunday, June 23rd, to Sunday, August 25th. Mr. T. J. Palmer, for so many years postmaster, was succeeded in that position by Mr. J. Hay ward on January 1st, 1870. Subsequent holders of the office have been Mr. T. Isley, Mr. R. S. Whitehead and Mr. W. Cleaver. The first postage stamps were issued in May, 1840. The first telegrams were received in East Grin-stead on September 21st, 1870, and the first halfpenny postage operated on October 1st following.
The Post Office was originally at Mr. W. H. Dixon's shop in the High Street, then at the corner now occupied by Lloyds Bank and Mr. F. Maplesden's printing works, the present commodious premises being opened by the Duke of Norfolk, then Postmaster-General, on September 16th, 1896. The day was one of public festivities and Miss Head, daughter of Mr. Evelyn A. Head, the then Chairman of the Urban Council, had the honour of posting the first letter at the new premises.
EAST GRINSTEAD CRICKET.
So far as the memory of living men runs, and apparently much further back too, East Grinstead has enjoyed throughout Sussex, Surrey and Kent a continuous and well-merited reputation for cricketing prowess of a high order. When it first acquired this celebrity in our great national game I cannot pretend to say, but certain it is that for many generations cricket has been indigenous in the town and in a lesser degree in the district, of which the town naturally formed a convenient central arena. Even now, natives who have passed their three score years and ten talk, and talk credibly too, of their feats, as boys, on local fields and of the feats of