Being an economist, yesterday, I bought 100 second class stamps as a precautionary measure against the 15p rise in stamp prices which starts tomorrow. I doubt my investment in 100 second class stamps will be my ticket to the Sunday Times rich list – (even if we continue to see such above inflationary rises in stamps). But, it appeals to the Yorkshireman in me, to stock up now.
Anyway, the reason I mention second class stamps is that I was rather taken with this story of the ‘Penny Farthing Post’ in Bude, Cornwall. An enterprising young man has set up his own ‘retro’ postal service using a modified ‘penny farthing bike’ – Actually it’s not a proper Penny Farthing, but it looks sufficiently old and different (it is actually adapted from a unicycle). It’s easy to have nostalgia for things of the past (see: my hobby horse experience). But, this seems more than nostalgia – a guy having great fun with old-fashioned pre computer gadgets like wheels, stamps and letters. I really love the idea of someone using an old fashioned bike to keep alive the dying art of letter writing. (and what better way to celebrate this than through an online weblog)
The non-romantics will say one man on a cheap bike is not going to stop the inevitable onslaught to e-mail and facetube or whatever it’s called. But, what is more quintessentially English than some chap riding a slow bicycle around the village green delivering handwritten letters? (well rioting is probably more commonplace, but let’s not mention that)
Mr Eccles charges 25p per letter and delivers around the Bude area. He says he makes about £25 a day, it’s hard work and he probably won’t be challenging internet millionaires for a place on the UK’s rich list. But, he loves his job of cycling around Cornwall – and how many of us can say we honestly love our work?
I never knew a crown was 25p!