Neighbours block bid to lose hamlet from postal records
PUBLISHED: 08:19 23 October 2019 | UPDATED: 09:28 23 October 2019
Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk
Neighbours have blocked a bid to make their historic hamlet disappear from postal records, after a proposal by Royal Mail threatened to merge it with a nearby village.
Last month, people living in Beckhithe, near Hethersett, were contacted by Royal Mail following a proposal by South Norfolk Council to remove the hamlet's centuries old name from the official postal address.
The suggestion, outlined in a letter from Royal Mail, prompted an outcry in the small community, which was determined to preserve its history, and avoid being "swallowed up" by neighbouring villages Little Melton and Hethersett.
Those living in the rural neighbourhood said they maintained fierce pride in its centuries-old status as an independent hamlet, with the prefix 'Beck' referring to a series of streams running through the area, and 'hithe' suggesting the hamlet was used as a landing point.
A letter objecting to the change was drafted by Shamsher Diu, of Little Melton Road, and signed by 13 of the 17 households in Beckhithe.
In the letter, Mr Diu said the neighbours were "vehemently against" the change, and urged the company not to implement the proposed change.
Following the correspondence, Royal Mail said it had taken note of the residents' request, and would be keeping Beckhithe in the official postal address.
In a letter sent to all residents, the company said: "As all residents on this postcode did not agree to the proposal, Royal Mail will not be amending the details on our Postcode Address File and postal address for properties remains as Little Melton Road, Beckhithe, Little Melton."
Mr Diu said he was pleased with the results, but concerned that South Norfolk Council had requested the change in the first place.
Last month, South Norfolk Council said the proposal had been triggered by an email it sent to Royal Mail in August, letting the company know that official council records did not contain reference to Beckhithe.
However, Susan Gray, who has lived in Beckhithe since 1974, said the name had been in use since medieval times.
She said: "Beckhithe is on the deeds to my property. I would have had to change so many records if the proposal went ahead. It's a historic name."