An Illustrated History of the Travelling Post Office
Mail was first sorted on a moving train in a converted horse box on the Grand Junction Railway, between Liverpool and Manchester, in January 1838 at the suggestion of Frederick Karstadt, a Post Office surveyor. Karstadt's son was one of two mail clerks who did the sorting. In 1845 the service was extended via Derby to Newcastle upon Tyne by the Midland Railway and soon after reached Scotland. A close relationship between the railways and the carrying of mail was soon established, and the service soon became known as TPO's (Travelling Post Office). The connection was immortalised in the poem Night Mail by W. H. Auden and the British Transport Films' production of the same name. TPOs were equipped with letter boxes so that mail could be posted while the train stood at the station and the post marks from TPOs are highly valued by collectors. British TPOs were operated most recently by Rail Express Systems, and their successor EWS. On 9, January 24, however, this long history came to an effective end when Royal Mail decided to suspend transporting mail by rail, as services had been severely disrupted after the Hatfield rail crash. In this volume, the respected rail historian Peter Johnson has gone back to original sources to research this beautifully produced history of the TPO in Britain from its origins through to the effective end of mail sorting on trains. Brilliantly illustrated, and with a lively informative text, this new book will become the definitive source of information on that most British of institutions, the Travelling Post Office.
Hardback with dust jacket, 144 pages, black & white and colour illustrations, illustrated end papers
Condition: Very Good
Most orders are dispatched within two-three working days of receipt of cleared payment. If there is going to be a significant delay (more than 10 working days), we will contact you and, where possible, give you an estimated dispatch time.
Please be aware that advance orders will be sent as soon as the relevant book has been published.
When placing your order, please ensure that you add the correct full shipping address to your order. This includes house number, street name, zip code/post code. If parcels are returned on account of an incorrect shipping address we will contact you to seek the correct address and also ask that you pay a contribution towards posting the parcel to you a second time.
All orders over £20.00 are post free to all UK addresses. For orders of £20 or less, a £1.50 postage fee will be added. These are normally sent via Royal Mail 48 Hour (the business equivalent of 2nd class mail) which is not tracked. If you require tracking for your, tracking options are available for a small fee. If the service that you require is not shown, please get in touch with us and we can quote for your desired service.
Large, bulky or high value orders may be split in to multiple consignments or sent via courier. There is no additional charge for this and you will be advised at the order fulfillment stage if this happens.
Overseas orders are charged based on weight, and postage will be automatically calculated at checkout. For a postage quotation, please add the items you want to your cart and proceed to the checkout. All orders are usually sent via Air Mail - this is not tracked. If you required your order to be tracked or sent by a different service, please contact us, preferably before checkout.
Royal Mail will only accept parcels up to 5kg in weight (2kg for Canada). If you are ordering multiple items that exceed these limits, please contact us first so that we can advise you of the appropriate shipping rate.
Due to the high volume of parcels going missing, we are no longer able to send untracked orders via third party mail handling services such as Parcel Motel. We are able to send untracked parcels to bona fide PO Box addresses, friends and family members and to work addresses.
Some countries charge import taxes and we suggest that in these cases, you asked for your order to be tracked so the local taxation authorities can trace your parcel.
Please note that courier services are unable to deliver to PO Box addresses. If you usually use a PO Box address, you will need to supply an alternative address if you require shipping by courier.
Updated: 1 June 2020