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Perhaps you have never given it much thought, but when you have stuck a stamp on your letter, Royal Mail Group then has the obligation to deliver it to that destination. It sounds easy but for that price the letter has to be collected from the post box, taken to a Mail centre where it joins millions of other letters and parcels. This is each day for destinations to 239 countries world wide.
In the days before mechanisation, the letters were sorted by people standing in front of sorting frames. With the ever increasing volumes of letters and parcels, it was becoming harder to keep up, and getting more expensive to process. It is worth bearing in mind that a U.K. stamp has to be delivered even to a remote island in Scotland for that standard cost. This may involve land transport, ferries, or even a quad bike to get it to the remotest of locations. It is also delivered in virtually any weather. The commitment of the post persons who deliver the mail is commendable. They are also seen as part of the community and people rely on a familiar face bringing their mail to their door.
Our book tells of the history of the Royal Mail Group, from its origins as the Kings messenger service, and its development through the years to the highly mechanised network it is today.
It has been written with valued access to the British Postal Museums archives, and with the assistance of the the Engineering department of the Royal Mail Group. Some images in the book were lost deep in a storage room, for years, but we have converted the 35mm photographs to reveal some machines that were once used.
The staff of Royal Mail have added some of their stories, to make this a very interesting read of their daily working lives. The vehicles, equipment, sorting frames and the machines are just a few of things in this book. It tells how a stamp is produced, the telecom tower, the mail rail system, and the travelling Post Office, which are just a few of the topics inside.
Amazing but true stories of;-
• The story of the Post Office Cats, and their role as “Paid employees”.
• How experiments took place to deliver the mail by a rocket.
• How a Mail Coach was attacked by a tiger.
• See a picture of the first letter sorting machine. Called the Transorma
• See an archive photo of postmen on a five wheeled bicycle nicknamed;-
“The Hen and Chickens”