Apologies if you have already seen this on my Rambles blog but I thought I should put it here as well. While in
Scotland last week we called at Sanquhar (pronounced SANK-er) Post Office, in Dumfries and Galloway Established in 1712 it is said to be the
oldest continuously operating post office in the world.
Alam, 73, a postal historian and stamp collector from Birmingham, took over as
postmaster in July 2015 when the post office came up for sale.
We went inside
and chatted to the postmaster’s very pleasant wife and daughter.
office was refurbished in 1997. To celebrate
the fact the Royal Mail presented it with a replica Victorian Penfold pillar
'...The 1711 Act also empowered the establishment of Cross Posts,
services between various towns, not on the main route to Edinburgh or London,
and Bye Posts, which served as feeders to and from the Post Towns.
The men who carried the mail on foot were known as runners and they
received fixed payments that, in many cases, were substantially greater than
the salaries of the postmasters – an interesting reflection of relative values.
One of the earliest Cross Posts that was established was between
Dumfries and Ayr, up the Nith Valley via Sanquhar ( pronunciation : SANK-er)
This service was apparently established in 1712 and it would have been
at this time that the present post office in Sanquhar started its long career
as a change-house, where the runners rested and were refreshed, and exchanged
mailbags before starting on their respective return journeys back to Dumfries
or on to the next stage at Cumnock.'
"Sanquhar Post Office, The Oldest Working Post Office in the World"
(2005) by Ken Thompson, owner and manager of the Sanquhar post office for 17
years. I bought a copy of this book at
the Post Office and it is quite fascinating.
post office is this blue plaque.
This is Sanquhar’s
18th Century Tolbooth, now a museum.