One hundred and thirty years ago, Britain saw the introduction of the "penny post". The?
One hundred and thirty years ago, Britain saw the introduction of the "penny post". The man who thought up the idea was Lord Anson, later created the first Earl of Lichfield. Now the present Lord Lichfield is running a postal service of his own, a service born because of the postal strike. With an end of the dispute in view, many of the "pirate" postal services seem certain to fold, but Lord Lichfield's has been so well organised and run that it will be hard to give up.
For 15 pence the Lichfield letters are delivered anywhere in the London area. Business houses have relied on his service throughout the strike. For abroad he sends two couriers to the Continent and one to New York each week.
One long term result of the postal strike could be a swing away from the postal services by large business houses. The "pirate" post has proved so successful that after the strike, many may continue to use private firms to shift their mail.
This film shows the Lichfield operation, probably the best organised of all the "pirate" groups...and certainly one of the most lucrative handling more than 5,000 letters a day.