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Episode 4 of 15
Introduced in 1784 the mail coach slashed journey times by two thirds, provided a new state of the art form of public transport, and allowed newspapers to reach the provinces within 24 hours. The time-pieces carried by guards also had the unintended consequence of creating standard UK time in the era before GMT.
As Royal Mail faces an uncertain future, Dominic Sandbrook charts the development of the post office and examines its impact on literacy, free speech, commerce and communication.
Writer and Presenter: Dominic Sandbrook
Historical Consultant: Susan Whyman
Musicians: Sam Lee, Bella Hardy, Mick Sands, Nick Hart
Actors:Morgan George, John Sessions, Simon Tcherniak,
Malcolm Tierney, Jane Whittenshaw
Producer: Joby Waldman
A Somethin' Else production for BBC Radio 4.