Did you know that in the 1930s game was allowed to be sent through the post with nothing but a neck label?
The British Postal Museum & Archive (BPMA) is proud to present The Post Office in Pictures, a new exhibition showcasing iconic photographs from its collection, some of which have never previously been seen by the public.
From strange creatures sent through the post, to the daily deliveries by land, sea and air to every corner of the country – the photos featured cover some of the more unusual and unexpected activities of the Post Office and its people.
The Post Office in Pictures will be held at the Post Modern Gallery in Swindon 6 October – 5 November. Local artists from Artsite Ltd. will provide a contemporary twist with an art installation inspired by the archive images.
The exhibition has its origins in 1934, when the General Post Office (GPO) established its Public Relations Department. Headed by the entrepreneurial Sir Stephen Tallents, the department’s aim was to promote good relations with the public, to provide guidance on using postal services, and to gather and interpret customer feedback to help shape the work of the GPO.
Photography was one of the key tools used by the PR Department to reach and engage with the general public. In order to supply its fledgling Post Office Magazine with professionally-produced photographs, Tallents secured the services of skilled photographers from the Engineer-in-Chief’s Department. Members of the GPO Photographic Unit began to accompany the magazine’s journalists, creating visually appealing, informative and often humorous articles about daily life in Britain.
The Post Office Magazine was published for staff and the general public alike, between 1934 and 1966. From remote regions to the industrial heartland of the country, it showed the General Post Office (GPO) doing what it did best – serving the nation in times of need and in times of leisure; through new and expanding services such as Air Mail, to the more traditional services provided by cheerful, efficient, and ever-present postmen.
Andy Richmond, Exhibitions Manager commented:
“The Post Office was once Britain’s largest employer and the BPMA are proud to put part of their unique collection of photographs on show to the public, demonstrating the importance of the ‘postie’ in everyone’s lives”.
The Post Office in Pictures
6 October – 5 November
The Post Modern Gallery, Theatre Square, Swindon SN1 1QN
See www.postalheritage.org.uk/inpictures for more information