Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Not to be beaten

Seeing all that snow in Britain reminded me of when I worked delivering post in Penistone, near Barnsley, South Yorkshire. One morning I got up to find six inches of snow had fallen overnight. Thankfully the gritters had been out and the road down to the sorting office was passable with care on my clunky old post bike.

Having sorted my mail out, I set off to deliver the post to Hoylandswaine, a small village outside of the town. The main roads were reasonably clear but my route took me down the country lanes to the outlying farms.

As I turned into Cooper Lane, I could see that the wind had drifted the snow which now filled the lane up to the wall tops. There was nothing else for it; I slung the post bag on my back and walked along the top of the walls dragging my bike as best I could.

For some of the more outlying farms, I had to abandon the bike and walk across the fields where the snow was thinner. The farmers showed no surprise that I had managed to bring their mail. In fact only one took pity on me by offering a cup of tea to warm me up.

I can proudly say that I delivered every letter in my bag that morning. When I got home I had a quick change of clothes, a bite to eat and then set off to deliver the second post. There was never a question of abandoning deliveries - in those days the Royal Mail had to get through.

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