Every time I drive past the place these days I can't help thinking it's just a pale shadow of the establishment it used to be. The red phone box has gone for a start...it just doesn't look right.
In it's day, Lanner Post Office was one of the key bases from which Droof Boys would launch operations throughout the late Seventies. Probably on a par with Melrose House around the corner, it was from these two key establishments, parties were held, decisions were made and much fun and frivolity was had by all.
My parents (in the photo) were deemed by most of the DB, a 'softer touch' than their peers so alcohol was supped, roll-ups were smoked and other various 'things' were consumed here on a regular basis with minimal interference.
The shop itself was obviously a major draw. Endless supplies of tins of beer, fags, chocolate and anything else you fancied at whatever time of the day or night. One just had to disarm the burglar alarm and avoid waking my parents to gain access to anything from a packet of Rizlas to a full-on Vesta Curry at 2am.
The so-called (by Mike A) 'Stevie-Snack' was forged right here at Lanner Post Office in the 70's. On occasions, several of us would regularly return here after a trip to The London Inn in Redruth feeling rather 'peckish'. (Don't forget Kebabs hadn't even been invented yet). No problem...
Arrive home and let ourselves in. Talking and giggling would cease. Make sure our dog ('Pickles' the American Beagle) is conscious and not going to start barking and wake everyone up. (He knew he would get tit-bits so he was on our side most of the time). Turn off the burglar alarm....open the door to the shop, ever-so ever-so quietly.
In we would sneak..."Can of McEwan's anyone?" "Cheese?" "Shall I cut some ham?" "Anyone need any tobacco?" etc.
Firing up the bacon slicer in the shop at 1am in the morning was a risky business but sometimes it just had to be done.
Carrying our booty, we would cram ourselves into the tiny kitchen and pull the sliding door closed. Drinking beer, smoking fags whilst cooking cheese (and ham) on toast in a kitchen measuring 4 foot square at 1.30am in the morning, whilst trying not to wake one's parents is not always possible. Most of the time we got away with it though.
The fatal error of forgetting that the dog had followed us into the shop was one of the reasons we might get caught out. His howling wouldn't almost certainly wake up my dad...."SSSTEEEEEPPPHHUUUUUUNNNNN!!!!!????"
Still, the punishments were never severe and I don't recall anyone ever getting sent home.
The only interior photo of the counter at Lanner Post Office I can find. Cigarettes on the shelves behind and the bacon slicer just out of shot. Proper Cornish pasties, sticky buns (and a box of Waggon Wheels?) visible on the counter. It was here that many of the DB would muster to purchase items of fancy at any hour of the day or night. The lady pictured here was a kindly lady named Irene if anyone remembers her.
Once ensconced in the sanctuary of my bedroom, lighting would be subdued, music would be low but audible, talk hushed but not whispered as we sat up late into the wee hours, listening to some great albums, smoking and enjoying each others company.
It was on one of these occasions that I remember the concept of 'getting a girlfriend' came up. Literally within less than a fortnight we all had one...not bad going boys.
My mother would sometimes appear in the morning with mugs of tea to the sight of several full sleeping bags over my bedroom floor.
If it was a Saturday morning we had probably already planned to walk/hitch our way to St. Agnes or Tregajorran or down to Nancemellin for one of Jon Smith's awesome parties.
To drive past Lanner Post Office now...well, you would never know...