Chorley Historical and Archaeological Society

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Jan 2019

Tue 08 th Jan 2019
Ian Bagshaw Ė The Royal Mail & Secret Language of Postcards.

Ian made a welcome return to the society on our first meeting of 2019. He went back to the beginning explaining that the earliest postal communications date back to the reign of Edward IV (1442-1483).
Henry VIII, who was excommunicated by the pope, needed to know what was going on in his kingdom. He appointed the first master of the post and set up a postal system. This was developed and extended further by successive monarchs who knew the importance of controlling the post. Oliver Cromwell, although not a monarch, was no exception when it came to this.
Through the slow improvement of turnpike roads in the 18th century the postal improved too through licensed horse drawn carriages carrying the mail.

Ian Bagshaw

Further transport developments in the 19th century saw the first Royal Mail ship and the first contract to carry mail by rail in 1830 between Liverpool and Manchester. This century also saw the red-letter box introduced onto Britainís streets.
Ian brought developments up to date with the advent of motor vehicles and aircraft and of Royal Mailís use of them.
Postcards-Britain was the first country to introduce postage in 1848 and, as such, is the only country that does not have its name on a stamp. Ian went on to say that postcards became highly collectible during Edwardian times.
They were used for many things, for example, advertising products, services, events and for communication between individuals. Postcards, their style and the concise messages they conveyed, are useful for looking at social history and are the equivalent of todayís emails and texts.
Ianís illustrated talk was first-class and made for an enjoyable and interesting for all present.

Peter Robinson