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The Postal Worker's Strike

Episode 10 of 15

15 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 16 December 2011

By 1890 Britain had a state of the art postal service with six daily deliveries in Britain's towns. To achieve this service, delivery staff often worked six day weeks with shifts split over a twelve or fourteen hour day. In sorting offices, postal staff complained of leaky roofs and inadequate toilets. Worse still, postmen weren't permitted their own independent union, and in 1890 frustration turned to industrial action.

As Royal Mail faces an uncertain future, Dominic Sandbrook charts the development of the post office and examines it's impact on literacy, free speech, commerce and communication.

Writer and Presenter: Dominic Sandbrook

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.

  • Jubilee 1890

    Jubilee 1890

    A black and white lantern slide of drawings of several images including people, mail coaches and counter services. Relates to the 1890 Jubilee of the Universal Penny Post.
    Date: 1890s-1920s

    © Royal Mail Group Ltd 2011 / The British Postal Museum & Archive


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