Thursday, 25 July 2013

Delivering the letters

..."So I went to Carlisle (eleven miles away) that would be in 1934, and I biked..... off I would set on the bike to Carlisle to be there at six.  Well I was always there before six.
Then I had to bike back [to Wigton at the end of the day].  Well, I started at six o'clock and we sorted the letters into postman's walks and then after we had finished sorting into postman's walks we used to go out to our own postman's walk and clear the boxes, prepare them and about an hour after seven o'clock we would be packing our bags and going out to deliver the letters we had got ready.  And we would be back about somewhere about half past nine and ten o'clock in the morning.  And then we used to have half an hour for a meal and then we went back again and did another delivery of letters and parcels.  And in those days there were three deliveries of letters in the town area of Carlisle, there were three on Monday to Friday and on Saturday there were two deliveries.  Now there's two deliveries Monday to Friday and on delivery on Saturday and it's quite possible as time goes by that there will only be one delivery Monday to Friday -- but I don't think I'll be in the Post Office when that happens.  I think it will come because of the telephones.  People are using the telephone more now if their friends have got telephone and they have telephone, well they're not writing letters.  And the people that are writing letters are mostly oldish people that haven't the use of the phone.  They're dying off very quickly and if it wasn't for bills and circulars well I don't know what a postman would find to do."

Henry Fell, Carlisle postman.
Speak for England  Melvyn Bragg

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