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Thread: Which side of the road?

  1. #1
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    May 2012
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    Texarkana, Texas

    Which side of the road?

    Do mail trucks in England have steering wheels on the left side of the vehicle?

    Yeah, there's a few shot of rum involved in this question.

    I'm watching an English show called "The Classic Time Team." Watching those guys drive around in right hand drive SUVs made me think of American Mail Carrier vehicles. So, what about English mail carrier vehicles? Seems like the logic would be the same. They would want to be on the side of the road with the mail box. But I've never noticed it in any British movie or TV show. Am I missing something?

  2. #2
    Lived five years on assignment in England in the 90s, working for IBM in Portsmouth, Hampshire. I traveled up and down the country monitoring subcontract suppliers. I never saw a "mail vehicle", as you would see one in the states.

    Most post is delivered door to door, on foot, aided by a bicycle. Almost every entry door in the UK has a slot, down which the post is placed, so it ends up on the mat.

    If you are fortunate not to have a Jack Russell Terrier, you'll get most of your mail intact. Otherwise, your JRT will lie await on the settee, and when he spots the Postman, will make a beeline to intercept and shred the evil incoming mail to bits. I could usually beat him to the door.

    The Royal Mail is pretty incredible. You can pop a First Class letter into a random post box in about any village in the country, and it will be at it's destination the next day, almost every time.

  3. #3
    Still twice a day? Or have they economised on that?

    I was always amazed by Sherlock Holmes (Jeremy Brett) getting mail twice a day, putting ads in the next day's newspapers, and catching a train to about anyplace on short notice.

    I am told we used to do some of that, too. Except the train trips were longer than on the Tight Little Island.
    Code Name: JET STREAM

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Watson View Post
    Still twice a day? Or have they economised on that?

    I was always amazed by Sherlock Holmes (Jeremy Brett) getting mail twice a day, putting ads in the next day's newspapers, and catching a train to about anyplace on short notice.

    I am told we used to do some of that, too. Except the train trips were longer than on the Tight Little Island.
    Between Ď93 and Ď98, yes. First Class mail arrived early, say 830AM. Second Class was typically between 11 and 1, depending on our Postmanís load.

    I always explained this to visitors from the States like this: England is about the size of Pennsylvania, and has been cross-crossed with railroads since the mid to late 1800s. The Royal Mail has been at it a while.

    *Gratuitous plug: A part of my contingent (IBM Federal Systems) led the automation / scanning machine upgrade contract the Royal Mail had. Donít recall exact value, but it was a lot. We did a lot of business there. My group was assigned to the Royal Navy Merlin ASW programme; 44 Airplanes (Augusta Westland EH101) plus a complete training system for £4.4B.

  5. #5
    Here is a Royal Post Office Motor Tricycle, ca 1910. Not every postman was on foot.

    Dagnabbit, I can't get a picture up here.
    Last edited by Jim Watson; 07-14-2022 at 11:46 AM. Reason: Can't show picture.
    Code Name: JET STREAM

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