An Exchange of Hogarths
End Of An Era For Bishop Auckland

After John, my dad's youngest brother, died in November 2011, his daughter Beverley found this newspaper clipping among John's personal effects and has now kindly sent it to us.  It's from a time when both the Postal and Telephone systems were still run by the GPO (General Post Office).  What price progress, eh?

With the exception of Dad, who had long since moved to Bournemouth, the article reads rather like a Who's Who of my family.  Someone else who's similarly conspicuous by their absence is Pauline's other son - my cousin Peter Johnson.  Although In 1973, when the article was written, Peter probably hadn't yet begun his career as a Postie.  However he did continue to work for the Post Office until his retirement and therefore deserves a mention here, at least.

I had always known about my grandfather Wilfrid's connection with the GPO and actually own the retirement certificate he was presented with after he'd served for "over 35 years".  What I wasn't aware of though, was the fact that he'd also been awarded the Imperial Service Medal.  That ignorance is entirely due to the fact that, in the words of his widow, Edith, she and Wilf spoke for a total of less than 20 minutes during the last couple of years of his life, after which, Edith obliterated virtually every trace of him from the house.  It pains me to think of what else might have gone onto that bonfire in the garden.

If you're a fan of Soaps you can read more about my particular branch of the family, plus a few others, in the Jigsaw Puzzle section.