Monday, September 10, 2018

Had to go

Anyone who knows me well, knows I love to write handwritten notes. So, when I learned the UK opened a postal museum, I was all over it!
Like any museum, there is much to learn when you walk through the front entrance. Boy, did I ever get educated.
We went for a ride on the mail rail system. We squished ourselves into the seat(they weren't made for people. Only pieces of mail! Back then these little trains didn't know that one day they would be used for tourists to learn how mail was processed!)  and off we went to learn how a piece of mail gets from one place to the next. Fascinating, I say. Fascinating.

A bit claustrophobic I dare say! At times it was pretty dark through the tunnels!
The mail rail was the beating heart of the British postal system.

The rails would stop at platforms, which were quite lively. Team spirit abounded. Postal workers worked very hard to get your letter mailed on time. In the 1930's, 4 million letters were moved PER DAY! Isn't that amazing?!

Any guesses which King was first to deliver the post in Britain?
It wasn't because he wanted everyone to be able to get mail! Remember, he wasn't the kindest chap in the land. He did have his wife beheaded. Eeek!
He had to keep an eye on his kingdom. Of course he did. SIGH.

Interesting side note: The stables for keeping the horses were known as posts. The name is still used today. The Post.

Being a post boy was no picnic. Your life was on the line many times just by delivering mail.
Imagine the weather they had to deal with. And the pay...I read it was 'pitiful.'

Remember the Titanic? (Who could forget, right?)
Well, we know about the iceberg and what happened as many fought for their lives in cold water. There was the many artifacts that were found after it sunk. And the people on board. We know all that, but did you know there were over 3000 mail sacks aboard? Me either. All those unread letters. There's a story there to be told. Wink wink.

What they did back then to save the mail. Truly incredibly tragic.
During the war, letters brought hope. I believe they still do today.
We are caught up in a world of instant everything. Texts, social media. It all is a great way to communicate. Our world is moving at light speed.

But, letters.
They may be old fashioned, but it is such a pleasure to write to someone in my own penmanship, knowing I am spending time thinking about that one person  and their own concerns. I take great pleasure when I slip that note through the outgoing mail slot at the post office. Such a tangible gift.

A photo of the entrance to the museum. See the posts in the hedges? Cute idea! Get to the Postal Museum if you get the chance.

I'm so glad we took the time to go. Great insight.
One more tidbit:

During the war, the aim was that no area would be without posting facilities for more than 24 hours.
4385 people died in the postal system during WWII.

Pause for a moment and just think about the loyalty they had to send out mail. So many heroic efforts during the war. So many unknown heroes. It's humbling.

I will always love handwritten communication the most. Always.           

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