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Brighton's telegram messenger boys

Until the late 1950s Brighton had seventy-five boy messengers as telephones were in their infancy and people relied on telegrams to communicate.

The messengers worked an eight hour day and cycled all over Brighton, Hove or Woodingdean, for the first two years of their service.  At sixteen years old they could become a motor-cyclist, if they so wished.  The early duties started at 7am and the late ones at 12 nooon.

Every year the Inspector in charge took them on a day’s outing to places like Windsor or Margate.  The photograph here shows one of those days, but it was a special occasion because it was the first time the lads were allowed to bring their girlfriends!

Telegraph boys and their girlfriends, ready for a day's outing
From the private collection of Viv Webb

Comments about this page

  • Does anyone remember Stanley Dixon, who if still with us, would now be 78. He began as a Telegram Boy in 1943 /44 and lived in Over Street. He had an older brother Ronald, now deceased, who was an electrician at Allen West.

    By John Wall (02/07/2007)
  • Yes, Stan is still with us. 

    By Viv Webb (11/07/2007)
  • My brother Peter Dray was a messenger boy in the early 60s and he later became a postman. Does anyone remember working with him? My dad Harold Dray was also working for the post office in Brighton at that time and many years afterwards. My brother Peter and my other brother Brian were also mods in the 60s and I think you should do a feature on the mods and rockers era.

    By Vanessa (14/07/2007)
  • I worked with a Bert Dray in the 1940s as Telegraph boy Messengers. Was he related to you?

    By Viv Webb (27/07/2007)
  • We have now set up a web site ( for former telegram messenger boys to keep in touch with each other. We record past memories of their years as messenger boys (wags) sent to us, and also feature photographs of the past reunions. There is also a message board for everyone to leave messages for one another and to reunite past work colleagues. We will also be constantly updating these pages to display reunions and activities being planned. We hope that former messenger boys will enjoy the site, and that they feel free to contribute stories / articles, and any old photographs that can be sent on e-mail file attachment that they wish to be viewed on the site. We also accept any correspondence through the post, and will return all items after they have been scanned onto the website. I know some of you may not have access to the web site but if you could write down your memories as many as you like of your time or any events during your time as a messenger and then send it to me I would gladly put it on the web site for you so that other members could then read all about your time as a messenger. At the end of the day the telegram messenger boys have a lot of history, and it would be a shame if any of that was forgotten. Look forward to receiving your story/ memories:

    By Roger Green (31/10/2007)
  • I was a messenger with Pete Dray. We both went over to be postman, and then we were trained on the Transorma to do the inward sorting.

    By Jeremy Bradford (06/12/2007)
  • I was a Messenger between 1963 and 1968. I remember Jeremy and Peter and many, many others. Both my wife and I were mods in the 1960s. I went to a reunion in the 1990s but there were not a lot of people from my time, Bernie Banister and ‘Doggie’ Roser being two of them. It would be good if someone could organise another reunion. I think the person who did the first one organised it through the Argus. Anyone willing?

    By Dave Barnes (08/02/2008)
  • I worked in West Street in the 1950s, and would often see the Telegram boys roaring out from the side of Ship Street Post Office on their bright red BSA Bantams. Most would lean their their bikes over sharply as they turned the corner, so much so that sparks always flew up from the foot rests or leg shields. Although I now see this as foolhardy practice, I then thought them to be very skillful, for I never ever saw any of them fall off whilst doing it.

    By Roy Grant (08/11/2008)
  • Hallo Viv, thanks for sharing your photo. Would you happen to know the name of the girl 4th from the left? She looks so like a relative of mine called Sheila. Thanks for sharing your photo.

    By Sandra (19/01/2009)
  • My Dad was a boy messenger and later became a postman in the late 40s early 50s, until he had to leave due to a slipped disk. His name was Peter Hazell (yes, just like in the postman Camberwick Green believe it or not). He may have been known as Ron. He met my Mum Phyllis Williams during that time. Does anyone remember working with him?

    By Theresa Truscott (nee Hazell) (06/01/2010)
  • Most, if not all, of the above mentioned ex-messengers I know or have heard of. I was a messenger from 1942/1945 when the infamous Charley Davey was the Inspector i/c with Bruce Guy and Ernie Moody being Head Postmen who ‘booked us out’. I also arranged the two re-unions at Hove Town Hall

    By Stan Ford (14/04/2010)
  • Hi, I was a telegram boy circa 1969/71 and have fond memories of tearing around the Brighton streets, sparks flying from the metal leg guards of my Bantam 125 trying to be first to the PO social club for a beer. Some characters I remember are Steve (Dibsy) Broadrib, Dave Maskell, Roy Coughtrey, Dave Hale. I still have a C reg. 125 with full GPO livery languishing in my garage.

    By Keith Donaghy (23/03/2011)
  • I worked with Peter Hazell as a messenger and a postman. He lived in Stanmer Villas, Brighton with his Mother and Sister. I know he went in the Army in 1943/4 and as far as I can remember he passed the Civil Service Exam and went into the Admarilty. I knew your Mother Phillis, Pet met her while she was working at the tea shop across the road from the sorting office. Harry Bennett.

    By Harry Bennett (01/04/2011)
  • Re answer to Theresa Trustcot. It was me Harry Bennett who worked with Peter Hazell. Can you amend please?

    By Harry Bennett (02/04/2011)
  • I was a telegram boy between 1959-1962 and remember Pete Dray, Pete Eason, Jeremy Bradford, Alan Amiet, Peter Guy, Alan Corley, “Dinger” Bell, John Bishop, Stan Ford, John Froggett, John Osborne (who became a Telegraphist) and Graham Bolingbroke (who fancied my sister Joyce). The two PHG’s who booked out the telegrams were Ernie Moody and Jack Smith and the Assistant Inspector in charge was Len Pike who had a false arm/hand. We started on bikes first and then at sixteen moved on to Post Office red 125 bantam motor bikes which were kept in the garage which was at the back of the Sorting Office in North Road. We covered an area from Ashurst, Steyning, Shoreham by Sea, Pyecombe, Falmer to Saltdean. I too became a postman but only for three months after which I became a Postal and Telegraph Officer (P & TO) and started working at the post office in Western Road in Hove. Obviously we all have retired and are hopefully enjoying our health (due to all that exercise on those bikes) and wealth (Post Office Pension). Regards to you all.

    By Mike Hookham (30/06/2011)
  • I worked as a Post Office counter clerk from 1978 until 1984, and one of the offices I worked in was in Oxford Street, Brighton. Len Pike, who is mentioned above, was the branch manager, but had risen from messenger boy, which I think must have been in the 1950s. He lived in Woodingdean then, I remember. I don’t think he had a false arm or hand though! He was, however, completely obsessed with Frank Sinatra!

    By Gill Gordon (16/07/2011)
  • Hi Gill – you are so right. Thanks for that. Len Pike was a P&TO/Overseer and I remember him well – now, thanks to you. Perhaps someone out there could help me out with the real name of the Assistant Inspector in charge at that time. I noticed Jeremy Bradford’s input earlier on – can you help mate? Did you wear Harry Potter type glasses? I didn’t go to Oxford Street BO that often, long gone now and replaced by a doctor’s surgery I believe, but I remember the cleaner who used to cook delicious roasts for all the staff lunchtime. It made working in the afternoons very difficult.

    By Mike Hookham (20/07/2011)
  • I was a postman for 31 years in Brighton. Great times but I retired in 2005 after I had two heart attacks but I’m very well now and living in Warminster, Wiltshire. If anyone remembers me, I would love to hear from you.

    By JOHN TULLETT (02/08/2011)
  • Hi, I was a TELEGRAPH BOY [messengers] from March 1965 to Sept 1967. I remember Dave Barnes very well amongst others, and would like a reunion with all the guys. Also, Hi to John Tullett, who has posted a message on here; hope you guys get in touch.

    By Leonard Higgins (29/12/2011)
  • Hi guys, this is Dick, my nick name, and to some it was thought to be my real name. My best mate was Ray Brett from Coldean estate, we were messengers from early 1954 to early 1958 when we were called up for national service. Mr. Chubb was our assistant inspectory and Bruce Guy was our booking out PHG along with  Mr.Moody (very anti bugs). I drove the last 250cc side valve BSA, (1705) Robert morley from Moulscombe normally drove this bike,along with bikes 2021, 2002, 3571, 2334, 3472, 4072, can’t remember them all. Roy Stringer a junior messenger to me later became Postmaster of Brighton. I can name all the messengers in the photo above. Smudge smith was a naughty boy on the motor bikes, and got up to some naughty pranks with the public. One item the guys will remember, was when Whally Linton was attacked in New road by a gang of teddyboys, and 41 messegers went after them. They were cornered on the Banjo Groyn next to the Palace pier, and our belts an pouches were no match for the chain flick knives and razors. Mick Barnes, from Moulscombe was a big guy, and he was throwing these Teds into the sea one after the other. After we retreated back up the steps we were greeted by 4 cops cars and 16 policeman, they walked past us and looked at the scene of devastation we had left. We all went back to the office. From that day on Teds would step off the pavements if they saw the post office uniform. Three weeks later Mr.Chubb received a message from the chief of police Brighton, thanking us for a job well done. I could write a book about my time as a messenger and the guys that stood by you on and off duty. Any of you that are still around please give me a shout I will get the pictures of an outing in 1955 posted on this site page. Wishing all my fellow messagers a peaceful life. I finished up after leaving the RAF, as a telegraphist at Brighton, and then later as a P&TO at Bletchley.

    By Ray Stoner (27/10/2012)
  • Sadly I have to inform you all that Stanley Dixon passed away a couple of weeks ago. He started as a Telegram boy on leaving school in 1943 and was a postman all his working life intil he retired. We lived in the same street. Not many of us old ‘uns left now. Rest in peace, Stan.

    By John Wall VK2 (29/10/2012)
  • I must say I am rather suprised that has been no comment on Stan’s departure. Perhaps there is no one left!

    By John Wall VK2 (22/11/2012)
  • Received this email today from my brother-in-law who lives in Brighton. I have this photograph among my souvenirs and have fond memories of my time with the Telegraph section and then the main sorting office in Brighton and Hove during 1954 and 1958 then 1961 to 1962. Spent 3 years in the RAF 1958-1961 demobbed from NATO Norway. Spent time in Norway as a civilian and then returned to Brighton. Left Brighton in 1968 for life in Suffolk where I then worked for BP and then Shell UK Lowestoft until 1988. From 1988 to 1992 worked in Syria with Shell Syria and then transferred to Shell Nigeria where I worked until 2000 finally retiring back to Suffolk. Left Suffolk in 2001 and settled in Spain where I now reside on a permanent basis. Still get back to Brighton occasionally to visit my sister and her family. Unfortunately I do not remember all the names in the photograph so if anyone does have them I would appreciate knowing very much. I am the one looking at one of the telephonists from the North Road exchange. Kind regards to anyone who was on that outing.

    By Brian Vickers (15/07/2013)
  • I was a messenger at this time. Does any one remember me? I still see B Brown every week.

    By Dave Diplock (25/09/2013)
  • After posting the picture of our outing with the Brighton Messengers in 1955, I have since managed to contact Dougie Rainsford ,and I see my old mate Brian Vickers and Dave Diplock have also made comments. Only wish you guys would leave an email address, it would make life easier to make contact. I am so pleased that many of us are still around,guess we wouldn’t recognise one another if we passed in the street. Memories are priceless.

    By Ray Stoner (07/10/2013)
  • Messenger 1953-56. Royal Artillery, Hong Kong 1957-59, Postman 1959-63, P&TO 1963-93: Few questions answered: I knew Harry Dray (IB Ship St) and his son Peter, both involved in Bath Arm’s Football team, and Bert and Derek Dray (brothers). We have Stan Ford to thank for some reunions and keeper of many messenger photos from the ’50s. The two Pikes were Gordon and the late Len, not related. Gordon, assistant inspector, lost his leg in a Japanese POW camp; a very brave man. Mike Hookham mentions Pete Eason, I sat with him at the Amex Sussex Senior Cup Final, my old team Whitehawk winning the cup last season. I play golf a couple of times a week with Denis Hayes and John Dale, amongst others. See John (Tiger) Tate most weeks on the course. I try go to the Postman reunions at Ladies Mile pub every 1st Tues March/June/Sept/Dec. where I see Dave Diplock, Brian Brown, Bob Morley, Den Hayes, Bill Cook, Dave Foreman and Brian Peacock amongst others. Had farewell do for Ray Denyer, before he moved to Spain, at Pete Smith’s pub The Newmarket on Bear Road with Butch Cook, Tony Waddington, Gordon Gardner, Stan Ford, Tony Clements, Dave Foreman and Tiger Tate. Used The Newmarket for darts with John Norman and Dave Hale. Bumped into Tony & Pauline Lamper at a petrol station in the Highlands many years ago, kept in touch for many years, they came down for a visit about 10 years ago, sadly he died soon after. Also recently Paul Blunt, Len Pike, Bill Salmon. 1953-56: good 3 years –  no mortgage, no worries, just good laughs, lots of laughs.

    By Doug Raynsford (11/11/2013)
  • I am still around if anyone is interested. Stan Ford T33

    By Stan Ford (11/11/2013)
  • I worked with Mick Hookham and remember all the names he refers to. I am in close contact with Pete Guy. My dad was a postman, Eric Dray, known as Rastas to his workmates. He died in 1990.

    By Peter Dray (01/05/2014)
  • Have posted my email address if anyone is interested.

    By Brian Vickers (14/05/2014)
  • Hi Pete Dray, I expect you and Pete Guy have reached the 70th birthday milestone like myself and it’s great to look back on old times. Do you also remember Michael Lee and Ray Brouitt  who was the guy who broke his leg (twice) while riding the 125 bantam motorbike (Ford rings a bell). I met “Dinger” Bell in a pub about a year ago – had a laugh trying to remember names. Even funnier is trying to explain to a eight year old, who has a mobile and an ipad, what a “telegram” was.

    By Mike Hookham (16/06/2014)
  • Hi Brian Vickers, you omitted to include your email address. Could you put it on this page so I could get in touch?

    Kind Regards


    By Doug Raynsford (16/06/2014)
  • Hi Mike,  I Was 70 in January and Pete Guy is 70 in December. I agree with your last comments. My grandson is 11 years old going on 15, he has got all the up to date gear and he even helps me out on my laptop. I still see Pete Eason around town and at the Amex. I think you’re right – Don Ford rings a bell.

    Kind Regards      

    By Peter Dray (17/06/2014)
  • Hi Peter Dray. Did you live off Hartington Road then? Give both Peters my regards next time you see them. I thought I saw Tom Tullet on a bus the other day – do you remember him as well? Do you see any other old messengers? Keep in touch, my email is Kind Regards

    By Mike Hookham (20/06/2014)
  • Hi Doug Raynsford, do you remember working with me as a counter clerk on loan to Slough Post Office? It was my first encounter, and probably yours, working with Indians and Pakistanis which was great. The girls’ saris were absolutely stunning and all done with just one very long piece of silk. Who was the other “old” man we shared digs with?

    By Mike Hookham (20/06/2014)
  • Hi Mike. How could I forget “Slough”, apart from the saris?  I was a fan of the Goons in the 50s, mainly the voices of Peter Sellers, the customers’ twang reminded me of him.   Some of the crew I worked with, apart from yourself: Malc Simmonds, Gordon Gardner, Reg Richardson, Keith Bowles, Bunny Paul, Dave Godley, mainly the Western Road team.  The digs were with Mrs Braggs and Roy and Marion in Langley. I also worked at Maidenhead, Gerrards Cross, Slough Trading Estate (where the TV series The Office was filmed). The things we did to pay the mortgage!

    By Doug Raynsford (23/06/2014)
  • Hi Pete Dray, just met Michael Tullett on the bus today and he told me that the name Tom was only a nickname. He also broke a leg on a motor bike and thought the other guy we were thinking about was Bernie Wells. Who could forget Bernie Wells and I did for sure – sorry Bernie. Then he remembered Denis Roe-Barnett, Brooks, Allen Amiet and quite a few others. It seems quite a few of you guys spent some time as taxi drivers after leaving Royal Mail. Now most of us have hit the great 70th Birthday mark or are coming up to it, as with Pete Guy, so I suggest a Reunion? This would be for ALL messengers as it is great to read above memories from guys before and after our time and everybody has a story. What do you ALL think?


    By Mike Hookham (14/07/2014)
  • It was interesting to read about my broken legs but I never rode a motorbike (too scared). Of the two groups of messenger boys there were the motorcyclists and cyclists. Both Mickey Lee and myself were only cyclists. If you played your cards right, Smithy who was in charge of us boys, would invite us to sit behind the grille, removing telegrams from the pneumatic tube, or running messages between departments e.g. from Ship St to North Road – but if you upset him, you could expect a long distance telegram delivery in inclement weather. Wedding telegrams had to be collected from the upstairs reception area and were much prized as you could guarantee a tip upon delivery. As I recall, celebrated artists would compete to illustrate wedding telegrams. There was a canteen in Ship Street and in North Road. The North Road one was preferred by us boys as it was used by the telephonists. I also recall a transformer sitting, waiting for the chutes to fill, unloading them and taking them to the sorting frames. I cocked it up a couple of times by reading a book and allowing the letters to shoot all over the floor. I was pleased to read about us messenger boys and I can see us all now – ragging each other, reading the redtops and playing shove ha’penny in the recreation room at the side of the main offices. Cheers everyone

    By Ray Brouitt (21/11/2014)
  • Memories of the 50’s, there must be lots of stories there! Two initiation ceremonies not to forget:- “Bogin” probably one reason we have lost our hair in later life.  Standing on a chair in the rest room, blindfolded singing April Showers & Singing in the Rain whilst being pelted with water bombs. Playing football with two pennies and a halfpenny, and a box of matches on the white enamel table.

    22 of us going to the Astoria cinema, taking up one row. Coming down Coldean Lane on the bantam with the wind behind, going round the clock to 57mph on 2078, that had been tuned by Des the mechanic (there was no rear suspension).  The two 250cc were side valves and had a top speed of about 40 as they were governed.  

    We had a football team playing in the Brighton Youth League. One of the characters I remember was Michael Wells, he used to sit on a bench in the corner reading Shakespeare, after National Service he married Susannah Yorke and became a film director.   You had to be careful where you sat on the benches it could be painful if you sat on the join and somebody kicked the end.

    Cant believe this was sixty years ago, time flies when you are having fun.

    By Doug Raynsford (25/11/2014)
  • Good to see that there are still a few ‘youngsters’ out there flying the flag. The ranks of the 40’s messengers are now thin on the ground but fond memories of those long distant days remain with us who remain.

    Football. Table Tennis.Cricket who had time to work! Best wishes to all.

    Stan Ford T33

    By Stan (27/11/2014)
  • I started as a messenger on 4th Febuary 1954 with Doug Raynsford and Peter Woolmer. I had National Service 1957-59 then went back to the Post Office as a Postman and then PHG to 1967, then after having studied over the past two years I left the Post Office to Join The Sun Alliance Insurance Group as a Life Inspector along with another ex messenger Ernie Shaw who left the Post Office four years previous, (sadly Ernie died about 10 years ago). In 1979 I left the Sun Alliance to start my own Insurance & Mortgage Brokerage then after 10 years my two sons joined the family business along with my wife Joan (sadly I lost my oldest son about 3 years ago). Although I left the Post Office 47 years ago I’ve always tried to keep in touch with a few mates. As Doug Raynsford mentioned we all meet up at the Ladies Mile Public House on the first Tuesday every quarter March/June/Sept/Dec – it would be great to see some more of the old faces (Thats if you can reconise them! In the last few re-unions Gordon Gardner, Bernie Wells, Bob Morley, Dave Diplock, Brian Brown, Denis Hayes and a few more have come along. As some wanted to know the names in the photo they are as follows:-Brian Vickers looking at Peggy Paul and the person at the back was Vivian Webb (known as Stretch Webb who died 2 years ago). I’m next and Roger Souch with his hand on my shoulder, the person behind us is Mick Goldsmith and in front is Betty a telephonist, Bill Cook and next to him Peter Woolmer who sadly died a few years ago. In front of him is Ray Denyer who now lives in Spain – he is leaning on Pete Smith next to Bob Jones who died many years ago. Over his left shoulder is George Baker and lastly Butch Cook with girlfriend Christine. As Doug Raynsford mentioned it was Gordon Pike that lost his leg, in fact a few years later he lost his other leg. I used to see him quite often collecting his pension walking on two false legs with the assistance of walking sticks, he died about eight years ago at the age of 97. I went to his funeral and it was sad only to see a few of his comrads there- Harry Bennet – Fred Millward – my brother Peter plus a few others.     

    By David Foreman (21/01/2015)
  • Hi Peter Dray and Peter Guy. I met Eddie (Dinger) Bell last Monday in Sainsburys and he sends his regards to you both and I told him about this website. We tried to remember other names of the guys that we worked with all those years ago and I wished I had paper and pen as his memory is very good. Reading the blog, just above from David Foreman, I suggest perhaps we could join the old faces at the Ladies Mile Public House at their next meeting as new faces to bring along some more memories.

    By Mike Hookham (21/01/2015)
  • I recently met David Foreman who told me about this website. I wish I had known about it earlier but now I will see how many remember me. I started as a messenger in August 1946. I had the privilege of being the first to ride the one and only (I think) 197cc James using it on a “races” afternoon. Who remembers those hectic afternoons? I left the messengers in 1950 to join the Air Force. I returned to the SO in 1953 and remained there until I retired in 1990. Hope to see you in September.

    By Fred Millward T50 (30/07/2015)
  • Hi, could someone tell me if Denis Roe-Barnett is in this picture please, and if so which one is he?  He’ll be one of the short guys but not sure which one.

    By Sandra (06/08/2015)
  • Hi guys, I’ve just found this page. I used to be one of the lads who was at Ship St telegraph office, from 1959/61. I was for some reason unknown to me known as Gurney Slade. I also remember we used to go ice skating after work at the ice rink, and I remember Eddie Bell who thought he became a fireman. I left to be a postman in Portslade and hated it so I joined the RAF. I am now living in Gillingham. I’m now 72. Take care guys

    By Richard Stevenson (13/09/2015)
  • Hi Sandra. Sorry, I am afraid Denis is not in any of the outing photos, they were from 1952-1956. It would seem Denis’ service as a messenger was from August 1957-1960 when he went to North Road as a postman. I don’t know if any of the younger boys have any photos.  We are the owners of a large collection of various items up to the late 50s. Stan Ford did put them on display at Hove Town Hall about 20 years ago, perhaps he will do it again one day.

    By Doug Raynsford (25/10/2015)
  • Hi – just found this website. My Dad was Jim Hurley who was a messenger boy back in the 40s. Sadly he passed away on the 8th Jan. Would like to record my thanks to STAN FORD who very kindly left a message on the Argus website. Would love to hear from you Stan or indeed anyone else who remembers my Dad.  Email is

    By Paul Hurley (03/02/2016)
  • Hi Doug, as you probably know that, sadly, the Post Office at Western Road, Hove has now closed its doors forever. I know you and many mates have very fond memories of the place. Mine is my first ever counter balance on my first day which took four hours (I started at one o’clock). My Mum was a cleaner there for four years (not waiting me to balance, I hasten to add). Do you remember Harry Harland as a supervisor? Regards to you and everyone. 

    By Mike Hookham (22/03/2016)
  • Hi Guys. Today I met up with Mike Lee and Brian (Jack) Frost for a coffee and a messengers’ meet-up. We had a great time remembering all you guys. But the thing that was missing was talking with all you guys out there. We are looking forward to a another messengers’ meet-up very soon. Mike Lee, Brian Frost, Peter Dray, Ed Bell, John Oborne, I have already spoken with. Please let me know if you are able to come too via my email address
    All ex messengers and any information regarding any photos etc available are welcome and any advice especially from Stan  Ford.

    By Mike Hookham (09/09/2016)
  • Hi Doug, fifteen old messengers met up last Friday 4th November and had such a great time that we are meeting up again at the Ladies Mile Pub at 12.00 on Tuesday 6th December and we are hoping you can be there with Malcolm Simmonds. Names included are; Eddie Bell, John Bishop, Jeremy Bradford, Mike Bravery, Ray Brouitt, Pete Dray, Leigh Fane, John Froggatt, Brian (Jack) Frost, Pete Guy, Roger Hall, Mike Lee, Trevor May, John Oborne and Colin West. Keith Page is on holiday in Australia so can’t make it. Graham Bolingbroke is living in Melbourne, Australia and Barry Smith is in Australia somewhere so we believe. We are still searching for other lads so if anybody reading this knows us please come along too on Tuesday 6th December or send me an email for future meetings to:

    By Mike Hookham (06/11/2016)
  • Hi Doug, such is the eagerness of the lads we have decided to meet up at 11.00 instead, one hour earlier. Hope to see you there.

    By Mike Hookham (07/11/2016)
  • Worked at Ship St post office as a messenger boy 1961 to 1964, after leaving Knoll School.

    I do remember some of the names,  Mike Bravery, Jack Frost, Ding dong bell, other names come to mind Mike Annuals? Doggy Roser, Nigel Marchant, Thorton (Torchy). Smithy was in charge and the inspector was Gordon Pike. I went to Australia in 1964, now retired and enjoying life. Best wishes to all. Does any remember me?

    By Malcolm Mackenzie (11/11/2016)
  • Hi Malcolm, we must have worked together at sometime as I served from 1959-1962. Send me your email address to:   and I will send you a photo of all fifteen lads, with names, who came to the reunion. I, with Mike Lee and Ray Brouitt also went to the Knoll School for Boys. Are you in the School Photo taken on 30th April 1959? Have you a photo of you as a messenger? Keep in touch.

    By Mike Hookham (11/11/2016)
  • Hi Richard Stevenson, scrolling up this column I noticed your posting on 14th September. From the dates you have given you were also in at around the same time as us. I remember a “Gurney Slade” but not the face. You know Eddie Bell so that must be a clue. If you would like to send me your email address to:   I will send you a photo, as I have just done for Malcolm (Mac) in Australia, of the lads at our recent Reunion. As you can see from my postings above we have another meeting lined up next month. Keep in touch.

    By Mike Hookham (13/11/2016)
  • Our next scheduled meeting of Telegram Messenger Boys is on Tuesday 5th September at the Ladies Mile Pub, Mackie Avenue, Brighton at 12.00 noon. There will be around twenty lads coming along for a good old reminisce and if you have any photos bring them along too.


    By Mike Hookham (28/08/2017)
  • See you at our next meeting on Tuesday 6th March at the Ladies Mile Pub, Mackie Avenue, Brighton at 12.00 noon. Even more lads will be there now as Dave Barnes and Len Higgins have recently made contact and they will be coming along too.

    By Mike Hookham (23/02/2018)
  • I have photos of my father Daniel/Danny Heading on a postal or telegram bike but unsure of the date. Rough guess mid-fifties to early ‘60s. 

    By Theresa Sayers (06/03/2018)
  • Hi Theresa, if you don’t mind sending me the photo of your father, if he worked in the Brighton Area, to me at: I will show it to all the lads at our next meeting on Tuesday 5th June who may even be able to date it for you or even might have known him. If you can’t send me the photo perhaps bring it along on the day that we meet which is at 12.00noon at the Ladies Mile Pub, 2 Mackie Avenue, Brighton BN1 8RA. Best wishes.

    By Mike Hookham (07/05/2018)
  • I worked with most of the people mentioned. I am now in my 93rd year and now live in Seaford. Cheers everyone. 

    By Harry Bennett (18/08/2018)
  • Hi Harry, just to let you, and everyone else, know that our next meeting at the Ladies Mile Pub, 2 Mackie Avenue, Brighton BN1 8RA is at 12.00 noon on Tuesday 4th September and we hope to see you there. We will all miss Jeremy Bradford who sadly passed away on 13th July. Best wishes.

    By Mike Hookham (23/08/2018)
  • The lads are meeting up again at the Ladies Mile Pub, 2 Mackie Avenue, BRIGHTON BN1 8RA at 12.00noon on Tuesday 12th March and I hope to see you there. Cheers.

    By Mike Hookham (09/03/2019)
  • All lads who were Telegram Messenger Boys are most welcome to a meeting on Tuesday 4th June from 12.00noon at the Ladies Mile Pub, 2 Mackie Avenue, BRIGHTON BN1 8RA. Remembering mates present and past and all the great times. See you the there.

    By Mike Hookham (28/05/2019)
  • I was a messenger at ship street from 1967-70. I remember it being one of the best times of my working life. Great camaraderie and such fun. Some of the lads I remember include Mick Ingram, John Pulling (Bones), Geoff Camellio, Geoff Marshall, Mick Phillips, Smithy, Ray Sigrest, Stuart Nicholson and the two PHDs sending us out were Mr D and Mr Goodrich-Dixon. Great times.

    By Malcolm Cole (23/10/2019)
  • Following on from my previous message, I remembered some other names: Steve Taylor, Trevor Shearman and Paul Head were also there at that time.

    By Malcolm Cole (24/10/2019)
  • Hi Theresa,
    Only just read your blog that you were enquiring 2 years ago about Danny Heading. I knew Danny as he first started as a messenger about 1951, he was a friend of my brother Peter Foreman, I believe he started just after my brother, therefore he would have been on the motorbikes about 1952.
    I also new his son Pat and his wife Diana as I arranged their Mortgage for them when they purchased their house in Hartington Road and then after they moved to Saltdean.
    Hope this was helpful.
    David Foreman

    By David Foreman (04/03/2020)
  • I was a messenger between 1965 and 1968 at Ship Street.
    I remember Geoff Camellio, John Pullen, Harry Smith, Paul Head, John English, Ray Sigrist, Graham Shoulders, Geoff Marshall, Dave Hawkins, Len Higgins and Ian Appleyard. Pete Dray used to live around the corner from me and I remember his Dad well. Mr Davis and Mr Goodrich- Dixon were the PHGs and Inspector Pike was in charge. Best wishes to anyone who remembers me and apologies to anyone I have forgotten.

    By Robert ( Bob ) Pettit (17/06/2020)
  • Another name that I recall is Pete Chatfield. I think that is about it for now.

    By Robert ( Bob ) Pettit (17/06/2020)
  • Sad news in The Argus recently of the passing of Stan Ford (T33) at the age of 92 years.
    Condolences to his wife Joyce and all his family and friends.
    Not only did he become the Postmaster of Arundel, Littlehampton and Pulborough but also the organiser of two reunions at Hove Town Hall.
    (See Stan’s three comments he posted above)
    Ex-messengers still meet up on the first Tuesday in March, June, September and December but at the Ladies Mile Pub, Mackie Avenue, Brighton from 12.00noon and when we all meet up next we will remember Stan.

    By Michael Hookham (19/07/2020)
  • I remember Dave Barnes. Len Higgins .Brutas Rose. I also played football with Pete Eason . Stan Ford, Dougie Rainsford and I played in the Code at Dougies twenty fifth wedding bash. I was a messenger from 1963 / 66 then went over to be a postman happy days.

    By Alan cunliffe (09/10/2020)
  • May I have my reminiscences published? I was a Brighton messenger from 1946 to 1950.
    Jock Dow.

    By Alex Dow (Jock) (13/08/2022)
  • Away from you nutty Telegram boys, do any of you remember The Post Office Club in Church Street?
    We had many good nights and I would love to hear your memories.

    By JIM Corlett (01/09/2023)
  • If anyone has any news as to how I can contact Allan Cuncliff ex postman and Telegram boy please let me know as I have news for him.
    I last heard he was in the building trade and lived in Peacehaven.
    Thanks Jim Corlett.

    By JIM Corlett (02/09/2023)
  • For all the people that knew Dougie Raynsford, some sad news that Doug died in April this year. Only a few messenger boys attended Denis Hayes , myself and a number of other post-office workers.
    A few other messenger boys have died over the past 3 years which includes Pete Smith, Bill Cook, Mick Goldsmith. In fact in the photo at the beginning of this Blog only a few are still alive.

    By David Foreman (15/09/2023)
  • I was a messenger in the years of 1950 -53(happy days)
    I wish I had known about this website sooner..
    Sadly I have only just heard of Fred Millward passing I will be going to the funeral on the 18 October at 2pm at the Brighton Crematorium (North Chapel).

    On scanning the site I see David Foreman has made some contributions as he knows his brother Peter was a messenger with me , we have lost touch over the years all I do know is he moved to Worthing perhaps David can put me into touch with him? my email address and, I would appreciate any information that is of any interest cheers for now
    Ray Hugall.

    By Ray Hugall (16/10/2023)
  • Hello Robert (bob) Pettit , looking at the comments on this site I came across my name mentioned by you. A lot of the names you mention I can remember.What a blast from the past. Hope you are keeping well, I’m now 73 and live in Yorkshire with wife. Best wishes to you and your family. Pete.

    By Peter chatfield (12/11/2023)

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