Wednesday, March 12, 2008

In rural England, the mail's bad news

Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer has penned an exceptional piece about the closing of rural post offices throughout England.

Murphy writes, "It is a landmark one imagines has changed little since Henry VIII first established the "Master of the Posts" in 1516. The outposts serve as an enduring symbol of the Royal Mail's commitment to deliver 98% of all first-class letters within a single day and the neighborly, if eccentric, character of the English village."

According to the article, "Post Office Ltd., the government-owned company that runs Britain's 14,376 post offices, says it is hemorrhaging $5.8 million a week, in large part thanks to the sprawling network of tiny outlets in just about every village and neighborhood across the country."

Murphy writes, "After a year of warnings, studies and anguished debate, the government has announced final plans for closing 2,500 post offices by the end of the year, a great many of them in rural outposts with little else but the post office to define themselves as a proper village."

Shown above, Postmistress Sonia Leeming, left, and husband Darren at the rural post office in Hawnby, England. They offered to forgo the $88 a week they receive from the government in hopes of keeping it open.

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM