Our Heritage…

‘Served their Lord faithfully over many years.’

The history of the Post Office and Telecommunications Christian Association (POTCA) is all about people; godly men and women who have served their Lord faithfully over many years.

Our History…

The Association was founded in London in 1887. At that time London was the centre of a rapidly growing business world. Improvements in transport and communications made it possible to travel, more or less reliably, to other parts of the world and to do business on an international scale.

The Post Office, originally responsible for the inland letter service, had acquired many new and exciting activities. Money Orders, Postal Orders, Savings Bank and Pension transactions were now being handled by counters. The new Parcel Post service, established in the basement of the Head Post Office at St. Martin’s le Grand, was becoming concerned about the postage of ladies’ hats; the parcels were in danger of exceeding the maximum size of ‘six feet of length and girth combined.’ Perhaps most importantly for the POTCA the Post Office was responsible for the rapidly growing inland telegraph service, and would soon take over many international telegraph links. A new building, GPO West, or the Central Telegraph Office, was the hub of this high-speed, high technology form of communication.

‘It is my belief that Post Office and Telecommunications Christian Association is as relevant now as it was one hundred and thirty-two years ago’.

Find out more about
our heritage…

Mr J Nobbs

I was about 19 when my entry into the Mail Service was brought about – about midsummer, 1836. My duty was to take charge of the mail-bags and protect them. The work of 1836, my first on the road, was severe. I had one very rough experience.

After leaving Bristol one night at 7 p.m., all went well till were nearing Salisbury, about midnight. Snow had been gently falling for some time, but after Salisbury it came down so thick, and lay so deep, that we were brought to a stand-still. We had to leave the coach and go on horseback to the next changing place, where I took a fresh horse and started for Southampton. There I procured a chaise and pair, and continued my journey to Portsmouth, arriving there about 6 p.m. the next day.

I was then ordered back to Bristol. On Reaching Southampton on my return journey, I found the snow had got much deeper, and at Salisbury I found that the London mails had arrived but could not proceed any further. Not to be done, I took a horse out of the stable, slung the mail-bags over his back, and pushed on to Bristol, where I arrived next day, after much wandering through fields, up and down lanes, and across country- all one dreary expanse of snow. By this time I was ready for a rest; but there was no rest for me in Bristol, for I was ordered by the mail inspector to take the mails on to Birmingham as there was no other mail guard available. At last I arrived at Birmingham, having been on duty two nights and days continuously, without taking my clothes off! .

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‘If it were not for this place I should go to the public house or sit on the kerb’

One important aspect of the work in the early days was to establish the Postal Institutes. At this time postmen in the cities and larger towns completed their days duty by split attendances of two hours on and two hours off, which often extended their days work over twelve and sometimes fourteen hours.

Often men in the larger offices were at a great disadvantage because the time between one duty and the next was insufficient to allow them to get to their homes; besides in many instances they were not in a position to afford such travel.

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