The World’s Oldest Working Post Office

Did you know that the world’s oldest continuously working post office is right here in the UK?

Plaque on the wall of the Sanquhar Post Office.

Plaque on the wall of the Sanquhar Post Office.

Sanquhar is a small town in Dumfriesshire, Scotland; it’s kinda out of the way and you probably wouldn’t pass through it unless you were in the area (or have a Mum living there!)

I guess that’s partly why this little treasure survived – if it had been in a larger city, it would have been “improved” years ago; closed and shifted somewhere newer, bigger, more efficient. Instead, there it stands; quietly sending mail for the past 303 years.

And the best bit? Thanks to new Postmaster, Manzoor Alam and family; who stepped in at a time a feared closure was almost definite; it will continue to do so for years to come.

Mr Manzoor; Postmaster, Stamp Collector, Postal Historian & Mail Hero

Mr Alam; Postmaster, Postal Historian, Stamp Collector and; let’s be honest; Mail History Hero!

Mr Alam, Sir, we; the post fanatics; salute you!

As many of you know, I have a bit of a ‘thing’ for all things postal; so it may come as no surprise to know that special hand stamped postcards featuring this Post Office were on pretty much regular order with the previous Postmistress. They certainly prove very popular over on Postcrossing!

Fortunately, I am informed that Mr Alam fully intends to continue this service!

Such an unassuming little place, I especially love the old bay window.

It’s such an unassuming little place, I especially love the old bay window.

The idea of a postal museum in the town is also something the Alams have been giving some consideration to. I, for one, think that would be a great idea; and one that Royal Mail, Post Office counters & Historic Scotland etc should support.

We should be proud of our history, not let things close because ; as we are so often told; they are no longer new & shiny or deemed profitable enough.

I'll be walking through these doors again very soon, and I'll be sure to say hello from you all!!

I’ll be walking through these doors again very soon, and I’ll be sure to say hello from you all!!

What do you think?                                                        I’d love to see your comments below!

And, as always, thanks for stopping by! 

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Postcrossing turns 10!!

Anyone who knows me (or has to stand behind me in the Post Office queue) knows I have a ‘thing’ about posting stuff, so when I stumbled upon this project a few years ago, it was perfect!

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Basically, when you register with Postcrossing , you can request a randomly generated address of a fellow postcrosser. You get the opportunity to read a bit about their likes, if (like me) you prefer to select a card related to their preferences. Each card is assigned a unique ID number, so when your postcard lands in the mailbox of the lucky recipient, they can register it; this in turn adds YOUR details to the pot and someone will draw your address to mail a postcard to. It’s completely random & works on a “one out, one in” basis, there’s no need to send a reply card to someone who sends you one – someone else will be sending one to them. Of course, sometimes you send or recieve a card and you ‘click’, maybe sharing similar interests or outlook on life – I have ‘met’ a few regular penpals through those one random postcards.

  • To date, I have sent 173 official postcards which have been registered and received 172, although some of the 10 which are currently travelling should be arriving any day now; which will add to my sent total & release my address for more to be sent to me!
  • Together, my sent postcards have travelled a distance of 386,259 miles; whilst those I’ve received clocked up a combined distance of 382,030 miles!
  • I have sent and/or received to and from 45 different countries.

29e4bfbf2ed1700a59fdf4a1355ffa1e I sent my very first postcrossing postcard on 5th August 2012, and it was received in Germany on the 10th!

How did it start? Well, back in 2005, Portuguese computer systems engineer and postcard lover Paulo Magalhães thought it would be a good idea to connect people who share the love for sending and receiving postcards; and so he set up Postcrossing, with the hope that he might convinced a few likeminded friends to join him…

To date, Postcrossing has: 560,302 members in 215 countries, sending 706 postcards/hour!      A total of 30,645,829 postcards have been received, with 446,007 postcards currently travelling!

Those 30 million+ cards have travelled a whopping 96,471,164,627 miles – that’s 3,874,118 laps around the world!!

So today, I’m celebrating Postcrossing’s 10th birthday by sending cards to Russia, Malaysia, Czech Republic, Taiwan & Germany. Thank you Paulo, for allowing us all the honour of participating in your project!

HAPPY 10TH BIRTHDAY POSTCROSSING!!

Oh, and the other great thing about Postcrossing? It’s a fantastic excuse to buy more postcards!!

Don't be silly!! Of course that's not ALL of them....

Don’t be silly!! Of course that’s not ALL of them….

Are you a Postcrosser? Do you participate in any similar snailmail projects? Please share in the comments section! And, as always, thanks for reading!!