Dalchreichart Post Office

From Moriston Matters, Issue 15, October 1979.

Dalchreichart Sub Post Office, after more than half a century of existence, ceased, to operate on the 6th of October, 1978. It was closed by the Head Post Office in Inverness when the then Sub Postmaster, Mrs Nancy MacLeod, moved to Tor Aluinn and, as the Post Office considered the new location would not be a suitable site for a Sub Office, resigned the post. Dalchreichart Post Office was set up in the early 1920s as a postal delivery Office, and became a post office because in those days such had to be established wherever a postman was based. And so now Hamish has added "Dalchreichart Sub Postmaster" to his multifarious duties as Glen postman.

Some of the older inhabitants of the Glen will remember the early incumbents of Dalchreichart Sub Post Office in its various locations throughout the years, and of course, the recent ones still live in the community. The earliest Sub Postmaster was Archie MacPherson, from, as far as can be ascertained from "unofficial" records, the early 1920s to the 1930s. There follow then two lengthy spells: Mr MacPhee from the 30s until 1947 and Mrs Margaret Warren from April 1947 to March 1959. Mrs Jean Watson, wife of the then Torgoyle Forester, served until November 1962. Then in succession came Mrs Margaret MacDonell (62-69), Mrs Christina MacLeod (69-72), Norman MacLeod (72-75) and, as said, Mrs Nancy MacLeod until it was closed.

The Postmen (the men and women "on the beat", so to speak), who covered the "Up the Glen" round from Ivy Cottage to Tomchrasky (including Inverwick and Inchmore when the Post Office was situated there) are also well-known. When Willie MacPhee became Postmaster on the death of Archie MacPherson, he still did the postman's round, leaving his wife to look after the Office. During his last illness Peggy Fraser from Ivy Cottage did the round for a few months. When Mrs Warren took over the Post Office in 1947 Jimmy became postman and carried on for about 14 years, until he joined the Hydro Board. Then Rebecca MacDonald delivered the mails, using her own moped to help her cover the miles latterly, until on May 1st, 1970, Hamish was supplied with a van and covered the whole Glen to Cluanie. The Office was located variously throughout the years. When Archie MacPherson kept the Post Office it was an annexe to the house now occupied by Prof. and Mrs Edwardes (Old Post Office House) between the house and the road. Mr MacPhee conducted business from his house - the east end of Lizart Cottage now occupied by Mr and Mrs Curley. Then the Post Office operated as follows: from the back of Dalchreichart Farm House (Mrs Warren); from the back of Torgoyle Lodge (Mrs Watson); from the porch of Inchmore (Mrs McDonell); from Dalchreichart Farm House again (Mrs MacLeod); from Inchmore again (Norman MacLeod); and latterly from Nancy's caravan at Dalchreichart.

In deciding to close Dalchreichart Sub Post Office the Head Post Office took into account the volume of business and some of the statistics may interest readers:-

Retirement pensions cashed

5 a week

Family allowances cashed

9 a week

Postage stamps sold (including those put on parcels, etc)

10 a week

Average cost per parcel


Postal orders issued

7 a week

Postal orders paid

6 a year

But, of wider interest, the Post Office emphasised that "the amount of business transacted" was "not by any means the sole criterion for keeping a Post Office open", that "the adverse impact closures would have on the public" was also taken into account.

(We are indebted for information supplied by the Head Post Office, Inverness, Mrs Kay Grant, wife of Mr Willie Grant and formerly Kay Warren, and others).