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The People's Post From BBC Radio 4. Written and Presented by Dominic Sandbrook. Throughout its history, the Post Office has been a consistently progressive and democratising force in society. Launched in 1516 by Henry VIII, the Royal Mail was intended to support official communications and bolster intelligence. It was only a rise in literacy, trade and interest that stimulated a demand for a public service. It became a vehicle for literacy, free speech, commerce and communications in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, before evolving into a kind of prototypical welfare state in the early twentieth century, when it was the largest employer in the world. The Post Office has become a cherished social institution, linking people together and extending their vision outward into the wider world. It's called Royal Mail but it should be known as the People's Post. Episode 1: The Secret Room During the English Civil War, agents opened and copied letters from suspected dissidents. Episode 2: The London Penny Post Penny Post was the first accessible and cheap method for sending mail within the capital. Episode 3: A Culture of Letters During the 18th century, an expanding postal network offered new possibilities. Episode 4: The Mail Coach Introduced in 1784, the mail coach slashed journey times by two thirds. Episode 5: Freepost In the early 1800s, the post office operated an expensive and illogical payment system. Episode 6: The Penny Black The arrival of Universal Penny Postage in 1840. Episode 7: Business Post Thanks to cheap postage, businesses could advertise and interact with people more directly. Episode 8: Love Letters The role of love letters in the history of the Post Office. Episode 9: A Community Hub From 1862, the Post Office Savings Bank offers savings accounts to poorer people. Episode 10: The Postal Worker's Strike The industrial action of the postmen in 1890. Episode 11: The Telegrath In 1870, the telegraph system came under the control of the post office. Episode 12: The Post Office at War In 1914, the post office was called upon to play a vital role in the country's war effort. Episode 13: A Job in a Million In the 1930s, the GPO was a model employer, offering staff a secure career path. Episode 14: The Post Code When a national postcode system was introduced in the 1970s, it met with fierce resistance. Episode 15: The Last Post As it sits on the brink of privatisation, what does the Royal Mail mean today?
|The People's Post/The People's Post 01 of 15.mp3||6.517 MB|
|The People's Post/The People's Post 02 of 15.mp3||6.436 MB|
|The People's Post/The People's Post 03 of 15.mp3||6.451 MB|