Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Stuart - Fastest Postman In The North

Rural areas are fortunate to have such amazing services. As you saw with Philip the milkman, we are surrounded by an extraordinary collection of people who go beyond the expected job description to be as kind and hospitable to people on their rounds.

Take Stuart, out postman. He has been on the same route for twenty or so years. He knows everyone and everything. He knows who's in and who's out. Who will pass on a letter to whom when they are out or away.

He is our unofficial policeman. He is invaluable and loved by all.

In these days were it is trendy to knock the Royal Mail, Stuart is a shining example of the brilliance of the organisation. How lucky we are to have such a service.

It is something buses should do more of. People rarely use the network of bus routes to send anything. When I first started driving I used to deliver things all over the place. One service I was a paper boy, stopping and throwing the rolled up papers in peoples' driveways. Another would require delivering car parts to a garage.

Some used to take it to the extreme. One driver who ran a pub would take the bus in the rest period to the cash and carry, filling the seats and the lockers with boxes of crisp and small bottles of soda water, tonic and bitter lemon.

'You can't sit there,' he once told a sick girl who was sitting in the front seat. 'go down to the back. I need that seat for me pork scratchings.' She groaned and hobbled off to the back of the bus.

In the days of buses and conductors, things used to be tied to the roof. Once, in mid winter, a driver thought he heard the conductor ring the bell and set off. Half an hour later he stopped because there was no sign of the conductor. He was found in a frozen state on the roof clinging on for grim death. Someone else had rung the bell.

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