"30 ODD YEARS AS A POSTMAN": Mr Des Morgan, a retired postal officer, gave the Probus Club of Pontypool a very interesting talk on the above subject at their meeting at Panteg House on Wednesday, January 2.

The speaker started his job as a postman in 1972 at the Post Office Royal Mail Sorting Office, in Mill Street, Newport, but accepted redundancy for the last four years of his service, hence the title of his subject.

Mr Morgan's first walk as a postman was in the Crindau area, which he found to be an exciting part of the town as it contained thriving businesses such as Lovells Confectionery, Wynns Transport, Mullocks Stationery, Moles Wrenches, and other well known firms.

Mentioning these names resulted in past memories connected with the latter, such comments by members about the Mullocks family's well-known connection with Welsh Rugby, and then the huge transporter vehicles and trailers used by Wynns to carry unusual wide and other such loads throughout the whole of the UK for many years.

Postman Des said that there were a few ladies working as post women during his service, and they were very efficient, and although subject to friendly banter at times similar to their male colleagues, it would definitely not be regarded as the sexual harassment heard of in these present days.

Les was taught to drive motor vehicles by the Post Office and we were told that they had their own driving instructors and test examiners for their drivers.

He failed his first driving test in Mendalgief Road, but successfully passed his second and eventually progressed to driving HGVs.

He found that driving in the Newport Docks was a particularly happy time, as there were big warehouses with organisations such as Shell Mex PB, Irish Ferryways and the HM Customs & Excise, and they were all very friendly towards postmen.

Sporting activities were actively supported and they had good rugby and other competitive sports teams.

Mention was made of local Pontypool sportsmen who were postal workers, and that quite a few of their bosses had started their careers in the town.

The speaker gave an interesting insight into the work in rural areas, where they were highly respected for their services to the community especially when remote farmhouses were concerned.

Apparently, American visitors to this country were very impressed by the door-to-door delivery by British postmen, as in their own country such personal service was not now available and they now had postal boxes situated at the curtilage of their properties for their mail deliveries.

Les had only been bitten twice by dogs during his service, and on each occasion he regarded the bites being intended as accidentally friendly nips by the dogs, in spite of the subsequent required tetanus injections, as they perhaps merely wished to remind him of its security role in the great scheme of things.

Mr Morgan gave some very amusing anecdotes about his service which were well received, resulting in some good questions being asked by the audience and ably answered by him as the speaker.

Mr Brian Carter gave the formal vote of thanks, and there was the usual enthusiastic applause from members for such an interesting talk.