Saturday, September 14, 2013

Demise of the Post Office....

My comments on a Charles Moore's column today about Royal Mail privatization.... See article here on Telegraph web site  He points out that in less than a hundred years we've gone from 12 punctual deliveries every day to just one half hearted delivery six days a week. How did this happen? How did we get here??


"Sadly I have to agree with this. My experience of the postal service in recent times is mainly queuing up at the central post office in Tonbridge. You wait 5 or ten minutes to be called by a computerized voice to the relevant counter. You are then served by, usually a woman, who looks like she'd rather be any where else but serving you. As they used to say on Coronation Street "A face as long as Rosamund Street!" Being a bookseller I go to the PO at least twice a week and it's my least pleasurable part of the week.  Not so long ago I used to drive to a nice little sub Post Office which was on my way home. Olive was lovely and knew everyone by name; she'd often remind me to put "Printed Papers" on my boxes and envelopes. Of course they closed her down in the last round of sub PO closures. In fact when I moved to Tonbridge 20 odd years ago there were, I think, nine sub POs around the outskirts of the town. Now there are just two. Would privatization improve this situation? Let's hope so because, as you say Charles, a virtually monopoly means that, to paraphrase an old ad campaign, they try less harder!..."

And...

"I do hope that they keep the post boxes red. I still remember the great feeling of pride when my mum trusted me to run to the post box on the corner of the street. I was about six I suppose. Somehow the memory wouldn't be quite the same if it had been a clear plastic box!..."

5 comments:

Dave said...

The Post Office plans to axe 70 of the 373 Crown branches, the major high street outlets run directly by the Post Office including Margate and Whitstable in Kent and plan to use franchising in their place. If there was a suitable operator in Tonbridge no doubt Tonbridge will be added to the list. Maybe the new enlarged Sainsburys (if it happens) could offer a post office counter.
Unless of course you buy the Castle Hotel and set up a café/ Mr Books shop/post office combo.


Tonbridge blogger said...

Now there's a thought Dave! Anyone got a spare £500k to lend me?!

Paul Bailey said...

The trouble with the Royal Mail is that very few of us actually write leters anymore; especially when sending an email is not only instantaneous, but free as well! Having said that, the parcel side of the business has seen a dramatic upsurge with the advent of online purchasing from the likes of Amazon (sorry about that!), and others.

It was a very retrograde move though to cull the sub-Post Offices in such a savage way, especially as the main office in Angel Walk is patently incapable of coping with demand at peak times, (avoid Saturday mornings, if at all possible).

Olive's is still trading but, as you point out, no longer as a Post Office. Tonbridge's original Crown Post Office is now, of course, the Humphrey Bean - fine if you want a cheap pint of something unusual, but not so good if you want to post a letter!

Outraged said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Outraged said...

I clearly recall thirteen Sub Post Offices in Tonbridge which are no longer trading. I can supply their locations if anyone is interested. (I had to delete previous, only due to grammar error).