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Tales from practice: Postman Barr

Based on lawyers' hourly rate, 60p is still a good deal to have a letter delivered by the Post Office, says Richard Barr

18 May 2012

Let me introduce you to Sam, Lyndsey, Del, Sharon, Charlotte and Phyllis. You don’t know them, nor are likely to unless you frequent the same small Norfolk market town as I do. However, all will be revealed.

I had to sign the Official Secrets Act when I started one of my first jobs. I suspect that in writing this piece I may be committing several breaches of the Act, so this could be the last contribution from me as a free man for many years.

It was like this. There used to be a time when stamps were cheap and post was plentiful. Never more was this true than in the weeks leading up to Christmas. In the village of Elm in Cambridgeshire, the local sub-post office (now a private house) would recruit child labour to assist in the task of getting the mail out to the good citizens of the village.

I cannot remember how old I was, 16 maybe – possibly younger. ...

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