Tracing The History Of The Worlds Oldest Post Office

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The Logical Indian Crew

Tracing The History Of The World's Oldest Post Office

Every year, people celebrate World Postal Day on October 9 to mark the significance of the establishment of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) in Bern, Switzerland.

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Long before the age of e-mails, social media and instantly forwarded messages, it was the age of writing letters, postcards, and anxiously waiting for replies. Postal services revolutionised the communication process across the world. Even today, postal services play a significant role in the delivery of parcels globally. The world's oldest post office is in Sanquhar in the United Kingdom and is known for its 308-year-old legacy, and is the 'lifeline' of the elderly in the village who rely upon it for banking services. The Guinness Book of World Records recognises it as the world's first post office.

Functional Since 1712

The post office has been functional since 1712, and it was in 1738 when it started stamping mails. Postmen were called 'runners' since they kept running to deliver letters and parcels back then. Now, some horses were made to deliver parcels. The position of postmaster was a coveted one and was always occupied with people of high status like town clerks, schoolmasters and the like. The history of the Sanquhar post office has been shaped by the family of Matthew Hogarth, who ran the business for seven decades and is still a dedicated regular.

Up For Sale Now

The souvenir of the historical times is unfortunately in jeopardy and is up for sale for £275000. According to the international news publication BBC, the post office is currently owned by Nazra Alam, 67 and her husband, Dr Manzoor Alam, 77. The couple has been managing the post office since 2015 and says that they have enjoyed their time. Since the post office has been running since 1712, they feel it would be a shame to shut it down now.

Nazra Alam hoped that someone would eventually come along to buy the post office and keep it alive because it was the village heritage. A spokesman from the post office said, "Post Office will be working with the local community to try to find a new postmaster to take on the branch and ensure it remains part of the Post Office network and Sanquhar's unique place in postal history is retained." And, in the meantime, the branch continues to remain open for business.

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Writer : Ratika Rana
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Editor : Madhusree Goswami
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Creatives : Ratika Rana

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