Enjoy a nostalgic chronological trip through some Postal History.
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POSTAL HISTORY

 

Date

Topic

Event

2000 BC

Postal tablets

The truly romantic period of postal history starts with the first clay tablet letters dating from 2000 BC lasting to the introduction of the adhesive stamp in 1840.

Circa  550 BC

Persian Empire

There was a regular system of despatch riders or State carriers.

Circa 1350

Private posts

In England private posts existed from the time of Edward III, and a royal messenger service, out of which the postal service developed even earlier.

1500

Postal service

The King's Post commenced up to 1635. This was the only regular post. Letters carried were signed by a notable person and were often marked as 'Per Messenger'.

1500 - 1839

Postal service

During this long period there were a number of other posts, private and official.

1533

Post Master General

In the reign of Henry VIII, what may be called a Post Master General was appointed.

1574 Postal service

Each 'Post Master' had to have at least three horses available for use. At the sound of the approaching Post Boy's horn, his own Post Boy was made ready to start the next stage of the journey.  The work of the Post Boys was both uncomfortable and dangerous. Time could be lost through hold-ups by highwaymen, or just the perils of bad weather.  

1602

Postal service

A government postal service was established to Milford. The messengers of Queen Elizabeth I passed through the 'Post Towns' of Chepstow, Newport, Cardiff, Swansea, Carmarthen and Haverfordwest. There were six main post roads of the country

1635

Postal service

Thomas Withering's Post lasted up to 1642. The charges for this were 2d for under 80 miles, 4d for 80 - 140 miles and 6d above 140 miles and 8d to Scotland.

31 July 1635

Postal service

The first national postal service between London and Edinburgh is established under Charles I. Thomas appointed Chief Postmaster of England.

October 1635

Postal Service

First Posthouse located in Bishopsgate Street, London, by Thomas Witherings, a member of the Mercers Company.

1637

Postal Service

Posthouses established in Barbican for receipt of mails from the Great North and Chester Road mail coaches, and at Charing Cross  for the Plymouth Road mail coaches.

Pre 1653

Postal service

For many years the Post Office employed its clerks to sort and handle the mail at the main offices, but the work of carrying it along the Post and Bye Roads was by letter carriers on foot or horseback.

Post 1653

Postal service

After 1653, much of the  post was contracted out to Private persons. These contractors became known as the farmers of the posts and Ralph Allen was probably  the most famous of these.

1657

Postal charges

An Act of Parliament fixed rates for sending letters and established the system for the British Isles.

1660 - 1711

Postal service

The General Post was introduced up to 1711. This was based on a single sheet and distance rate of 2d for 80 miles and under. The postage was doubled or trebled for two or more sheets of paper.

1661-1787

Postal service

Henry Bishop set up a system of marks to eliminate delays in the post. His famous marks, showed day and month but not the year, with a small type before 1713 and a larger one thereafter.

1677

Postal service

A general survey of the Post Office made by the Comptroller of the Inland Revenue, Thomas Gardiner, shows the existence of a regular horse post through Monmouth, Newport, Cardiff and Bridgend to Swansea. No regular service to West Wales as the North Wales route to Ireland took precedence over the route to Milford.

1680-1682

Postal markings

William Dockwra's London Penny Post, a private venture, was most successful, with its characteristic marks showing the day and time

March 1681

Postage stamps

Robert Murray, a former government clerk, sets up penny-postage system in London.

1682-1794

Postal markings

William Dockwra's system was run and also  taken over by the state.

1693

Postal service


Born in Cornwall, Ralph Allen (1693 - June 29, 1764), transferred from a post office there at age 17 to one in Bath. Two years later in 1712, he became the Post Master of the city. He shortly reorganized the entire postal service and became very wealthy doing so.

Circa 1700

Postage stamps

About 1700 the first handstruck marks for the provincial towns came into use. Earliest for TENBY is on a letter to London handstruck April 23rd, 1714

1700s

Postal Service

The earliest post offices (where the public would take or collect their mail) were usually housed at inns, and were known as Letter Receiving Houses, where the only duties of the Innkeeper-cum Postmaster were the acceptance and handing over of letters, the exchange of mailbags and the provision of fresh horses for the Post-Boys. Few Post-Boys had a mail cart or even a horse. 

1710

GPO

Various services existed and extended up to this time, when it was consolidated into establishment, when a General Post Office for the British  dominions was set up in London, under the control of the Post Master General.

1711

Post Office

A Post Office Act established 'Cross Stages' or post roads from one main post road to another short of London, and increased the postal charges.

1711

Post Office

Tenby Post Office Established, with James Callow as Postmaster.

1711

Postage stamp

Charge for a single letter from Tenby to London was 4d.

12 March

1713

Post Office

Tenby first appears in the Postmaster's Salary Lists. 'To James Callow of Tenbigh one year and five months salary at  £6 per annum from August ye 1st 1711 to March 25th 1713 £10'. The Postmaster's salary remained at £6 per annum until the turn of the century.

1715

Postal service

Appointment of the first Post Office Surveyors, one for each of the six main post roads 'to make continual journeys into the kingdom to examine the accounts and superintend the management'

1721

Postal service

Ralph Allen, Bath post master, devises a new system to speed the delivery of letters throughout the county. Devised a "cross-post" system establishing direct links between provincial towns, avoiding the London sorting system. Faster and cheaper. Allen was expected to make £12,000 from his idea.

1763

Turnpike Trust

The increasing traffic on the roads and maintenance costs led to the formation of the Turnpike Trusts. The erection of turnpike gates and the revival of tolls helped with the costs.

1763

Postal service

A regular postal service established to West Wales

1764 - 1840

Postal service

Free franking for Members of Parliament and State Officers appeared.

1764

Postal service

Ralph Allen dies. (see 1653 and 1721)

1765 - 1784

Postal service

Between 1765 and 1784 a letter could be sent over one stage of the coach, about 16 miles for 1d.

1777

Postal service

Penny post service begins in Edinburgh. Peter Williamson, a bookseller, offers to deliver letters and parcels to any address within one mile of the city's mercat cross for one penny.

1783

Mail coach

John Palmer of Bath proposed a mail-caoch service, a revolutionary concept after three centuries of foot and horse-posts.

14 May 1784

Post Office

Post Office established in Ireland by official statute.

1784

Postal service

To help clerks, the mileages from London were included in the handstamp applied at the Receiving Offices.

1784

Postage stamp

Charge for a single letter from Tenby to London was 6d

2 August 1784

Mail Coach

First mail-coach travels between Bristol and London. Introduced by John Palmer, Bristol's postmaster. First postal employees to receive an official uniform are mail coach guards.

1785

Mail coach

Mail coach service extended to Milford with a packet service commencing from Milford to Ireland the same year.

1786

Mail coach

London to Edinburgh Mail Coach service is established, taking 60 hours.

1787

Franking

Handstamping the post commenced, with day, month and year.

1787

Mail coach

The Irish Mail was carried along the South Wales route for the first time.

1788

Mail coach

London to Glasgow Mail Coach is established, taking four days.

1792

Money Orders

A system of money letters was established by six clerks of the roads with the sanction of the Postmaster General to safely transmit small sums of money from one part of the UK to another  (see 1838)

1793

Postal service

Provincial Penny posts were set up. The mail had to be taken into a Receiving House, each of which had a distinctive mark.

1794

Postal service

(see 1682-1794) The London Penny Post led on from Dockwra's Post and was reorganised for letters circulating within ten miles of the GPO. It ran side by side but not quite separately from the General Post.

1795

Postage stamp

Rowland Hill born (see 1840)

1796

Postage stamp

Charge for a single letter from Tenby to London was 8d..

1796 - 1801

Postal service

Single sheet letters were rated at 3d for under 15 miles, with steps up to 8d for over 150 miles

C 1800

Postal service

Before the pillar boxes were introduced, a bellman walked the streets carrying a large leather bag with an aperture for posting letters. He announced his approach by ringing a bell.

C 1800 Post boy Drawing of a Postboy on horseback from about 1800

1800s

Postal service

New postal routes to town and villages were set up and to facilitate the inhabitants, post offices were established often in the Postmaster's own house, which had windows to the street, through which mail could be delivered or collected by callers.

1801

Postal service

Fifth Clause Post for special cases in the Provinces started.

1801

Postage stamp

To help raise monies for the War with France, postal charges were increased to 10d

1805

Postage stamp

To help raise monies for the War with France, postal charges were increased to 11d

1805

Postal Service

The first mention of  "boxes for receiving letters" came in a description of the City of London. Painted green.

1807

Mail coach

The Map of Mail Routes by Tucker, shows Tenby classed as a Post Town, with the Mail arriving at 7pm and departing at 7am.

1809

Postal Service

The earliest known post office letterbox was erected at a Post Office in Wakefield. Painted green.(see 1874)

1812 - 1839

Postal service

(See 1796) 3d charge raised to 4d  and all above 700 miles cost 1/5d

1814

Mail coach

The Milford Haven and South Wales Royal Mail coach left the Golden Cross Inn at the Charing Cross end of the Strand every evening at 8pm to join a line of some thirty mail coaches outside the GPO to load the Mail. It set off to Gloucester, arriving there a 1pm the next day. After a stop of two hours, the journey continued through Abergavenny, Brecon, Llandovery and Llandeilo arriving at the Ivy Bush Inn, Carmarthen at 9am on the third day.

1815

Postage stamp

To help raise monies for the War with France, postal charges were increased to 12d.

1821

Packet boats

Two steam driven Packet Boats contracted to carry the Holyhead and Irish mails, these were the 'Meteor' and the 'Lightning'

1830

Rail service

Letters are first carried by rail on the newly opened Manchester and Liverpool railway.
Illustration showing the last Louth to London mail coach on board a train wagon

Circa 1834

Mail Coach

Mail coach system of delivering post ceased.
1834 print of English Post Boys on horseback by I Henderson

1834

Postage stamp

John Chalmers, a Dundee bookseller and newspaper publisher, invents an adhesive postage stamp.

1837

Mail coach

Charing Cross to Carmarthen journey time  had been greatly accelerated, reaching the Ivy Bush by late evening of the second day, a total travelling time of just over 24 hours for the 220 miles. After an hour and a half halt,, it collected the Milford and South of Ireland bags and continued to Milford, completing the final forty miles in about six and a half hours.

 20June 1837 - 22Jan 1901

Postage stamp

Queen Victoria Stamps in issue. (see 1901)

4 Jan 1838

Rail service

Patent for bag exchange apparatus for moving trains granted to Nathaniel Wordsell. (see 28 May 1838)

1838

Money Orders

(See 1792) Money Order Offices became official. A money order could be purchased from a post office, sent to its recipient who could take it to a designated post office to exchange for cash. 

20 Jan 1838

Rail service

Rail journey during which mail is sorted takes place, this utilised  staff working within a converted horsebox.

22 May 1838

Mail coaches

Mail Coaches for Holyhead, Manchester, Liverpool and Carlisle willnow be carried on the rail trucks on the Euston - Birmingham Railway.

28 May 1838

Rail service

(See 4 Jan 1838) Post Office rejects Wordsell's price for his bag exchange apparatus as being too expensive.

30 May 1838

Rail service

John Ramsey demonstrates his bag exchange apparatus but it is too flimsy for everyday use. (see 1852)

5th Dec 1839

Postage stamp

(See 1812 - 1839) Introduction of the Uniform Fourpenny and Penny Posts. The system was changed to 4d per ½ ounce, with weight steps above this.

10 Jan 1840

Postage stamp

A great upsurge of posting began and when so many letters were put in the post, that the Great Hall of the GPO in London was in total confusion.

6 May 1840

Postage stamp

Penny post created. All literate people can now correspond (not just the well off) paying for letters on delivery. Rowland Hill of the Post Office had the idea that if letters were prepaid and had adhesive stamps affixed, costs could be cut. The world's first adhesive stamp is black, with a picture of Queen Victoria -'The Penny Black'.

Circa 1840

Postal service

Few towns then had Letter Carriers (or Postmen as they are known today). Postmasters were willing to employ their own servants to deliver letters for a fee of 1d or 2d a letter.

6 Jan 1841

Postal service

Registration of post introduced at 1 shilling. No guarantees were offered with this service.

1846

Postal service

All books, newspapers and other printed-paper in open covers can now be sent at a special lower rate.

January 1846

Mail coach

Last London-based mail coach leaves for Norwich.

1847

Postage stamp

USA start issuing postage stamps.

1848

Postal service

Registration of post reduced from 1 shilling to 6d.

1 Aug  1848

Mail service

Regular mail service begins between London and Ireland.

1849

Postage stamp

France and Germany (Bavaria) start issuing postage stamps.

1850's

Postage stamp

Postage stamp system began to spread through Europe and the British empire.

1852

Rail service

(See 30 May 1838) Post Office pay Post Office Inspector Dicker £500 for his bag exchange apparatus for use on the railway.

23 Nov

1852

Post boxes

Introduction of first 'pillar boxes' for posting letters. The first are used on St Helier, Jersey, the idea came from Anthony Trollope..

1854

Postal service

The first Crown Offices opened. They are owned and run by the Post Office, as opposed to sub offices, which are run by agents.

1855

Postal service

Pillar letter-boxes were first introduced in London.

1855

Postal service

Underground transport of mail in London first envisaged by the Secretary to the Post Office, Rowland Hill.

1857 Post codes

The earliest form of postcode was introduced in London in 1857. Sir Rowland Hill, the inventor of the penny post, divided London into districts denoted by compass points, 'N' for north, 'S' for south and so on. (see 1864)
Postal mark

January 1858

Postal districts

London split into ten postal districts.

1858 - 1870

Postage stamp

Plate numbers appear on stamps, having letters in all four corners.

1860 Postal Service

Rowland Hill was knighted by Queen Victoria for his services to the Empire.

16 Sept 1861

National savings

Post Office Savings Bank established. 700 offices wereprovided this service. (see 1863)

1862

Postal service

Registration of post in London was reduced from 6d to 4d.

1863

Postal service

Registration of post for the whole country was reduced to 4d.

1863

Rail service

New pneumatic railway between Euston Station and Eversholt Street trialled. Iron cars, running on iron rails were sucked through the length of the tube. (see 1873)

1863

Nat Savings

(See 1861) Now 2,500 offices supplied savings facilities.

1864 Post Codes

The first provincial city to be divided into postal districts was Liverpool in 1864.

1865

Telecomms

International Telecommunications Union established.

1870

Telegraphs

Monopoly of running the telegraph service was given to the Post office, enablingg the public to send and receive telegrams.

1870

Aero-postal

Post was sent up by balloon during the Siege of Paris.

1873

 Rail service

Pneumatic railway extended to St Martins-le-Grand. (see Oct 1874)

1874

Postal Service

Red was adopted as the standard colour of pillar boxes in London. (see 1809 & 1884)

1874

Postal service

Between nations, uniformity in the transmission and delivery of mail is attained by means of the International Postal Union, founded at Bern, Switzerland in 1874. The whole of Europe, USA, British India, China, and many other countries belong to it.

Oct 1874

Rail service

(See 1873) Post Office declined to enter into a permanent arrangement with the underground tunnel, and was last used .

1 July 1875

Postal service

Gt Britain entered the Universal Union. For all European countries belonging to the Union and the USA, the rates became 2 ½ d for letters up to ½ ounce, and 1d for postcards and ½ d for printed matter.  

1877

Postal service

Registration of post reduced from 4d to 2d.

1879

Postage stamp

Death of Sir Rowland Hill. (see1840)

1880

Postal service

Tricycles first used by PO to deliver mail. In Coventry, postmen riders were paid a weekly allowance to cover the purchase and maintenance of the machine.

1881

Postal orders

These were first introduced.

1883

Postal service

Parcel post service was introduced.

1882

Postal service

A five wheeled 'Centre Cycle' trialled in Horsham district

1884

Postal service

Red was adopted nationwide as the colour for pillar boxes. (see 1874)

25 Dec 1898

Postage stamp

Empire stamp rate comes into effect. A half ounce letter can now be sent from Canada through much of the British empire for two cents.

22nd Jan 1901 - 6 May 1910

Postage stamp

King Edward VII stamps issued (see 1837 and 1910)

1908-1935

Aero-postal

The many Zeppelin flights carried a lot of public mail which was either dropped for local posting, cancelled 'On Board' or used for transit purposes.

1909

Pensions

Old Age Pensions are now paid from post offices. Payments were issued in bound books, each containing 25 pension orders.

6 May 1910 - 20 Jan 1936

Postage stamp

King George V stamps issued (see 1901 and 1936)



 

1 Jan 1912

Telegraph

GPO takes over The National Telephone Company.

1916 Post codes

Numbers were added to the London postal districts to divide them up more specifically into NW1, SW2, etc during the First World War.

24 Apl 1916

Postal service

127 men march on the Dublin General Post Office and reduce it to ruins following an armed siege lasting several days. The GPO in Dublin became a revered shrine and symbol of the nation's freedom.

22 April 1918

Postage stamp

Westminster ; Penny post abolished.

1919

Air Mail

 The first regular air-mail service was introduced - between London and Paris.

1925

Aero-Postal

The number of first flights and commercial opening by balloon proliferated, and the amount of mail carried increased immensely.

1926

Telephones

Roadside telephones introduced in a variety of shapes and colours.

1927

Aero-postal

The pioneer aeroplane flights of Hawker, and of Alcock and Brown across the Atlantic, of Ross and Keith Smith to Australia of De Pinedo and the like, are all very famous. Only a small amount of mail was carried, often privately, and this was very expensive.

2 Dec 1929

Telephones

First 22 public telephone boxes become operational.

1 Jan 1934

Telephones

Two million have telephones in Britain. London exchanges handled almost 800 million calls. The roadside kiosks which appeared in 1926  have been redesigned by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. His design in prefabricated concrete painted red won a Fine Arts Commission prize.

20 Nov 1934

Postal service

Postal districts to be introduced in major towns. 

1935

Telegrams

The Greeting Telegram Service begins.

20 Jan 1936 - 10 Dec 1936

Postage stamp

King Edward VIII stamps issued (see 1910 and 1936)

11 Dec 1936 - 6 Feb 1952

Postage stamp

King George VI stamps issued. (see 1952).

1937

Mail service

Empire Airmail Scheme introduced to carry first class mail throughout the Empire at a standard rate per half ounce.

6th Feb 1952

Postage stamp

Queen Elizabeth II stamps issued.

12 Nov 1957

Post codes

GPO to introduce post codes

28 July 1959

Post codes

The first postal codes and postal sorting machines are introduced.

October 1959 Post Codes

The postcode, in its present form as a mixture of six letters and digits, was first used in Norwich. This was the world's first experiment with postal address codes, designed to allow sorting by machine. By 1974, the postcode system covered Britain.

19 Sept 1959

 

First European Postal and Telecommunications Conference held.

8 August 1963

Mail service

Buckinghamshire. A gang of highly organised thieves netted the biggest haul ever taken when they stopped a Royal Mail train and stole 120 mailbags holding well over £1 million worth of bank notes. At least 15, armed and masked , carried out what has been dubbed The Great Train Robbery. Driver Jack Mills  was severely beaten during the raid.

27 March 1964

Mail  service

Aylesbury; Ten men are convicted for their part in last year's Great Train Robbery.

26 July 1965

Telephones

Telephones to have numbers only

7 Oct

1965

Post Office Tower

GPO Tower opens in London. At 186 metres (620 feet), it is the tallest building in Britain.   

16 Sept 1968

Postage stamps

First-class and second-class post introduced at 5d and 4d.

18 Oct 1968

Banking service

The National Giro banking service opens - later called Girobank.

20 Jan

1971

Postal strike

Postal workers strike for the first time, in pursuit of a 19.5% pay rise.

8 March 1971

Postal strike

First postal strike ends. Workers vote 14-1 to return to work.

1986

Postal service

Post Office functions are organised into three separate businesses. - Royal Mail, Royal Mail Parcels and Post Office Counters - under a corporate Group Centre.

1987

Postal Service

Post Office Counters becomes a limited company.

March 1989

Transformation

Network Transformation begins, converting the 1,493 Crown Offices into agency offices.

1990

Banking services

Girobank is sold to Alliance & Leicester Building Society.

1990

Counter Services

Automated counter transactions piloted. A personal computer system is installed at 650 main post offices, helping counter clerks handle transactions more easily.

1991

Counter Services

A multi-million pound development fully automates payment procedures.

1993

Counter services

Seven regions replace 30 districts and three territories, with three business centres focusing on particular markets financial, branded and agency development.

1996

Counter services

Automated Payment Terminals (APTS) implemented in 5,000 offices.

1997

Counter services

The Post Office at Tesco, Pitsea, Basildon, Essex, utilising Tesco's opening hours, becomes the first to stay open until midnight.

6 March 2001

Postal services

The Post Office becomes a PLC.

June 2001

Counter services

£1 billion Horizon Automatic system completed. Post Office and Benefits Agency set up a more efficient way of paying benefits through a new Post Office Card Account, to help prevent fraud. (see 2003)

Nov 2001

Counter services

The Consigna board  aims to create a sustainable network of PO branches in towns and cities - sub postmasters can earn a better return from their investments.

2002

Counter services

Post Office is the largest retail chain in Europe with more than 17,500 post office branches. Employs over 13,000 people, an additional 50,000 agents and staff. 28 million customers a week visit post offices branches.

2002

 

Government commits £270 million to modernise and protect the urban and rural network.

April 2003

Counter services

Automated Credit Transfer (ACT) is scheduled to commence and will be phased in to cover all 17,500 Post Offices across the UK.

2003

Counter services

(See June 2001) Government changes policy to pay benefits into bank accounts. Post office writes off more than half the cost of the automation.

 

 

 

 

 

       


POSTAL PICTURES OF LONG AGO


Harlech Post Office around 1875

Llanbrynmair Post Office around 1890's


Llanfair Caereinion Post Office around 1885


Llandrillo Post Office around 1875

Deganwy c 1890


Llandovery Post Office around 1890

Colwyn Bay c 1890


Llansawel Post Office around 1890

Llandudno telephonist team 1892

Penmaenmawr Post Office Staff c 1900


Carter Lane Trunk Exchange c 1920's


London Telegram Office c 1920's


Shipped mail arriving from America c 1920s


Mail Train c 1920's

Pentrefoelas Post Office c 1930

Betws y Coed Post Office staff, 1951


GREETINGS TELEGRAMS

My father, William Owen Davies who gave 43 years service to the Post Office in Llanrwst, Dolgellau and Llandeilo had a wonderful collection of Greetings Telegrams. Some are featured here.


LUNDY ISLAND
North Lighthouse


© Photo Copyright of  Stephen Williams and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Tony Woodruff writes;
I thought this might be of interest to you. It's nothing to do with Penmon but it has a family connection.
It's an envelope of a letter sent to my father and shows how mail was delivered to Lundy island in 1939.
Top right is the normal postage stamp 1.5d (not p).
Top left is the airmail stamp for Lundy Atlantic Coast Air Lines.
Below left  the surcharge put on mail to Lundy of half puffin (half pence)

It is interesting that the letter was posted in Norwich at 3pm on the 26 June 1939 and was delivered in Lundy by postmark above the puffin stamp on 27 June. Not bad going and they had never heard of first class post those days.

Click here to read more about the Woodruff family and their lighthouse history. KD



UNIQUE
BUILTH WELLS POST OFFICE


The only Post Office in England and Wales bearing an inscription to
King Edward VIII
built  before he abdicated in 1937
.

MESSENGER

April 1999

OFFICIAL OPENING AT LLANDEILO

Guest of honour and former postmaster
Bill Davies (right) and his son Paul,
at the official opening
.

A former  postmaster whose family has served 100 years with the Post Office in Wales, was guest of honour at the official opening of Llandeilo Delivery Office in March (1999).

William Owen Davies (76) was postmaster in charge of Royal Mail Operations in Llandeilo for 11 years before he retired in 1983, after 43 years service.
"I left 16 years ago, but I still keep in touch with the delivery office in Llandeilo. I was delighted to be chosen to perform the opening ceremony", said Bill, who is a Welsh language author and poet
.

Bill's son Paul, a postman at Llandeilo, was among Royal Mail staff at the official opening.
The new £650,000 office, sited a few hundred yards from the old office, provides improved services for customers and better conditions for staff.
It is equipped with the latest style sorting frames and there is a dedicated customer reception area
.
 

LLANRWST POST OFFICE

Llanrwst Post Office

 


Llanrwst Sorting Office

William Owen Davies started work with Llanrwst Post Office in 1940 as a Sorting Clerk and Telegraphist. His starting wage was 13/6d a week.  His father also worked there as a postman.

DOLGELLAU POST OFFICE APPOINTMENT

A letter dated 2nd December 1959 from the G.P.O. stated ;
I am directed to inform you that authority has given for your appointment as Postmaster Dolgellau (S) Barmouth.
Will you please say when you are prepared to take up duty at Dolgellau so that it can be agreed with the Head Postmaster in Barmouth.
May I offer you my sincere congratulations on your promotion and express the hope that you will be very happy in your new sphere of operations and that further promotion will come your way in due season.
Signed; T.G. Tilling, Head Postmaster

He was appointed Postmaster in Dolgellau in 1960
.

DOLGELLAU NEW P.O. OPENED

William Owen Davies above left with the new Post Office above right

The new Post Office in Meurig Street, Dolgellau was opened yesterday by Dr. Hugh D. Owen (Chairman of Dolgellau Urban Council). Among those present were Mr K. Thomas (representing the Director of the Post Office Wales and Border Counties; Mr W. J. Harris (Head Postmaster at Barmouth; Mr W.O. Davies (Postmaster at Dolgellau); Mr Ernest Rees (Assistant Postmaster at Barmouth); Mr D.W. Jones-Williams (Clerk to Merioneth County Council); Superintendent John Sgt. David Jones (representing Gwynedd Constabulary) Councillor John Rees and Mr B. Williams-Jones (Chairman and clerk respectively of Dolgellau Rural Council) and Mr Evan Williams (Clerk to Dolgellau Urban Council).
After the ceremonial opening the party was conducted on a tour of the new building
.
 

Dolgellau Post Office

Wil is pictured above with Higher Grade Postmen Marshall Davies left, and Eric Walker right.

Dolgellau Post Office on the 1st November 2007. Dolgellau Post Office


IDWAL GLYN DAVIES 1886 - 1961

Idwal Glyn Davies pictured on the right. My grandfather.

GLYN POSTMAN

'Cuckoo, cuckoo'. It was early March 1910. My grandfather Glyn Postman allowed himself a wry smile as he approached a farm on his rural post round. Glyn had done his annual cuckoo call, and he waited for the excited face of the farmer as he rushed out to tell Glyn that he had just heard the first cuckoo of the year.

Idwal Glyn Davies was born on the 13th June 1886. The son of Edward and Ellen Davies, 3 School Bank Terrace, Llanrwst. He had three siblings, William Edward, Margaret and Ellen Maud. In 1901, Idwal was employed as a labourer in a local mineral works.

He started work as a postman in 1907, and his first ever job was delivering letters and parcels on foot, in the Pandy Tudur area of Abergele. After his deliveries, he waited in a shed supplied by the Post Office until late afternoon, collecting any letters at Pandy Tudur Post Office and post boxes in the area as he walked back to Llanrwst, arriving around 7o'clock in the evening 

His working day would start by meeting the 5 o'clock train at Llanrwst from Llandudno Junction with other postmen, to collect post bags, and bring them to the Post Office for sorting on a two wheeled cart. The postmen would sort and deliver the post to their respectIive areas.  

Top left; Llanrwst Station looking towards Llandudno Junction.
Top right;  Looking towards Blaenau Ffestiniog.
Bottom pictures; the back of the Station. How sad it is to see it boarded up after all those days of activity
.


Taid Llanrwst, as we called him, delivered around Melin y Coed, Nant y Rhiw and Nant Bwlch yr Haearn. He walked 12 miles a day, and during the 1950s, his wage was only £2.10.0. (£2.50) for a 48 hour week. Glyn received two uniforms a year, a great coat and a cloak to keep himself and letters dry. The uniform was dark blue with a thin red strip around the jacket and coat cuffs and a red line down the trousers. His hat was unique as it had peaks at the front and back. A whistle was supplied so that he could forewarn farmers of his impending arrival. When calling at the home, Glyn would call 'Oes 'na bobol?' (Anyone at home?), and would receive a reply 'Dewch i mewn postman' (Come in postman).

He generally had permission to cross fields, which gave him the opportunity to share some local news, have sustenance and a cup of tea. Each farm cared for a postman, supplying a breakfast of home cured bacon, eggs, fresh butter and home made bread. Farmers were generous at Christmas with their tips. Glyn would invariably return home with a pocket full of money.
A blind man lived on his round. On one occasion he asked Glyn to help him pick some apples from the trees in his orchard. Glyn gladly obliged. When up  the trees, Glyn couldn't understand why the blind man was continuously  asking him question, and Glyn queried this with him. He replied that if Glyn was answering hisquetions, then he could tell that Glyn wasn't eating any of the apples while he was up the trees. 
This picture of Llanrwst Post Office staff was taken in either the 1920's or 1930's. Idwal Glyn Davies is second from the left, middle row. Other identified post men in the back row are Llew the Postman (second left) and Oliver Bach (second right). Picture supplied to the Daily Post by Mr William Parry Jones of Llanrwst.

Glyn sang second tenor with Llanrwst Male Voice Choir, and could often be heard singing on his way to work and when delivering his letters. During the First World War, he was attached to the Highland Artillery as a 1st Class Signalman. He was one of thousands who faced chlorine gas at Ypres. He worked as a nightwatchman at Parc leadmines following his retirement.