Retired postman reflects on fond memories at Cirencester Post Office

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Retired postman reflects on fond memories at Cirencester Post Office

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RETIRED postman David Morrison has been dusting off his memories of working in Cirencester post office.

He’s unearthed his album of old photographs of the people who worked there from the late Fifties to the late Eighties.

Most of the pictures are of social gatherings, including fondly remembered family Christmas parties.

Mr Morrison started work at the post office in Castle Street in 1959, after five years’ service in the RAF.

The top floor of the three-storey building had been the town telephone exchange.

It moved to Lewis Lane before joined in 1959.

When he started the second floor of the building was the administrative offices, and the base for the head postmaster, his assistant and other staff.

He recalls: “The majority of the postal staff were ex-service and were used to discipline. As a non-driver I was used on walking and cycling duties and my first duty was the Beeches Estate, where Queen Elizabeth Road was just being built.

“Before long the Post Office taught me to drive and this allowed me to perform rural duties. After some years I was promoted to postman higher grade on indoor duties, doing early, late and night duties.

I eventually became manager of the sorting office.

“In 1987 I transferred to Bristol.

Christmas is always a busy time in the Post Office, and postmen worked long hours right up to Christmas Day.

“There was always a rush to finish early as it was usual for the postal staff to assemble around the tree at the back of the Parish Church to sing carols before going off for a well-earned drink. On one occasion the office could not be closed because one postman was missing.

“His cycle route was around Sapperton and back through Cirencester Park. Our search party found him asleep under a tree in the park, much the worse for drink.

“The Cirencester post office ran many social events, including coach trips, cricket, skittles and darts matches, crib games, and most other activities.

“One of the highlights of Cirencester’s year was the Post Office Dinner and Dance. Tickets were like gold dust.”

Mr Morrison remembers the staff coach trips vividly.

He said: “The coach trips were self-catering, with all food and drink provided by staff and families. In our storeroom in the Waterloo were many wooden folding tables which were loaded on to the coaches with many other items.

“We had been known to picnic in a layby half way up a Welsh mountain, and on one occasion on Windsor Victoria’s cricket pitch in the shadow of Windsor Castle.

“Our children’s Christmas party was held come rain or shine. Again, the catering was done by staff. On one occasion the town was covered in snow and ice, but the party went ahead with people walking to the venue carrying the food and other items.

“The afternoon party was followed in the evening by an adults party. I remember we bought 60 packages of fish and chips for our supper.”

The weather was often the bane of a postman’s life, but Mr Morrison remembers customers being especially grateful when their mail got through in difficult circumstances.

He said: “The year 1963 was a very severe year of snow and ice.

“On the first day of heavy snow I arrived at Pinbury Park at around 4pm. The owner, Mrs Westerby, wife of an American film director, said she did not expect me to reach her house and immediately cooked me a full breakfast. She then asked if I liked a drink and told me to get crate of beer on my way back at Daglingworth post office and to book it to her account.

“From that day she cooked a daily breakfast for the postman.

“Living in Pinbury Park was Major George, who had a daily paper through the post. Mrs Westerby would open the paper for us to read and when George came to collect it she would say, “The postman has not finished it yet, come back later!"

The post office in Castle Street closed in 2016, moving to share nearby premises with the WH Smith stationery shop.

Mr Morris, aged 81, transferred from Cirencester to Bristol in 1987. He lives in Quedgeley, but keeps in touch with Cirencester news through his Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard, which he has delivered every week.
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Retired postman reflects on fond memories at Cirencester Post Office

Post by SaniyaS »

Wow that seem like really good memories shared by postman when postal mail had a great importance.
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Retired postman reflects on fond memories at Cirencester Post Office

Post by Navalron »

Definitely the good old days. Even in my workplace we used to have staff days out (before my time) and a football team that competed against other DWP offices. Now there's nothing as the relentless push for more, more and more productivity from everyone and managers breathing down your neck just makes you want to see co'workers as little as possible. Yes the old RM was a good social life job. Now it's all algorithms saying the posts isn't sorting fast enough and should be able to sort 3.6 letters more per day. FFS. :crazy:
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