Hello, my name is Anna. This blog is about all the beautiful islands around the world.

uk special: postal service

Since it's not only a project about islands, but also a mail project, I wanted to show you something special related to islands and postal services at the same time. (And I think now is a perfect occasion, after I shown you a few cards from UK).

These three vintage postcards illustrate the daily life of postal workers in Britain. Although a lot has changed since these photos were taken, I can imagine that delivering mail to some remote islands, not only in UK, might still be tricky.

First card shows the former Shannochie Post Office, at the time when the card was published the only remaining thatched cottage on the Island of Arran (later the roof was replaced with a modernised one). The bus standing in front of it is a Postbus number 104, introduced in 1977. It is no longer in use, in fact most of the Postbus lines were closed in 2009, but don't worry, if you would like to ride along with the postman while he collects mail, you can still catch a Postbus e.g. in the Outer Hebrides. (I did, and it was fun!).

The second card, as it says on its back, “illustrates how the Post Office endeavours to fulfil its duty to deliver mail to even the most isolated communities. The Sub-Postmaster of Piel Island Barrow-in-Furness makes his daily journey by boat between the island and the mainland“.

The third card shows the ferry services of Royal Mail in South Devon, with a ferry in Dartmouth on the left, and postman Roy Hendley of Salcombe, delivering mail to East Portlemouth, on the right.

These are of course not the only routes where mail has to be delivered by boat. An article from a few years ago names a few more difficult postie routes around UK, including one to remote Bardsey Island in Wales, or to Rathlin Island, the only inhabitated island off the coast of Northern Ireland, where postman "takes in some breathtaking views, despite the swirling depths beneath the surface being home 40 to shipwrecks." It is of course not an easy job, but as we can read the postmen don't complain, because “it is great to meet all the people in the community. It feels more than a postman’s job.”


  1. Nice post. I have saved the article to read it later.
    Are these postcards also from John?

  2. Pierwsza kartka jest rewelacyjna! :)



My big dream is to receive postcards sent from every island in the world (at least those that have a postbox). If you would like to help me, please contact me at letters.from.islands@gmail.com.

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