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Brighton Messenger Boys' outing 1956

Brighton Messener Boys' outing 1956
From the private collection of Doug Raynsford

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Based in Ship Street

The messenger boys were based at the rear of the Head Post Office in Ship Street; it had been there  for over a hundred years. Because of National Service at 18 there was a big turnover in personnel. There were two intakes a year of six boys leaving school after fifteen.  It was a popular job with lots of applicants, so there was an interview and an entrance examination.

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Freezing in winter

The telegrams were received in the telegraph room above the messengers’ rooms. When they had been received they were sent down by chute to the booking out officers below. We would be called in by turn; the younger boys travelled around the town on pedal cycles, the older boys by motor cycles in surrounding areas. In the winter time it was freezing, no thermals in those days.

This photo was taken for an outing to Battersea Funfair in 1956, for a lot of us it was just before our call-up for National Service.

Back Row – Brian Blacker, Ron Beal, Bob Older? Russ Perry, ?, ?  John Tate, ?, ? , Doug Silverthorne, Bill Stone, Yvonne and Doug Raynsford, Betty and Roy Stringer, ?, Gwen and Ray Hoad.

Front Row – Wally Watman, Ken Brooker, ?, Gary Karadzus, Mick Raynsford, Bruce Hawkins, Brian Thurston + Girlfriend.

Comments about this page

  • Conscription continued until 1960, but I had only just gone to grammar school in 1956 after the 11+, so missed it, thank goodness! Mind you, I have heard some youngsters enjoyed the experience. It takes all sorts!

    By Stefan Bremner-Morris (15/02/2015)
  • Hi Stefan, If you look on the photo of 1955 outing posted on this site further down, I was the messenger next to Mr. Chubb, our assistance inspector, on his left. My name is Ray Stoner, otherwise known as “Dick” everyone assumed my initial R was for Richard. The above photo was the first year we were allowed to take our girl friends. Many of us never went on this day’s outing, never knew why really. I was among a few Messengers that were selected to be trained by Frizzy Steel (PHG) on the Transorma in North road sorting office, we sorted all the postman’s walks In Brighton, Hove, Portslade, Southwick and Shoreham. I wrote off a motor bike while buzzing with Roy Stringer, chased by Mr. Cole the dread of all Messengers. We lost him driving over the grass from Hollingbury into Coldean. Roy managed to stop, but I sailed over the cut back hill at roof top height and crashed the bike into the kerb, on the otherside of the road, sending me through a hedge stopping inches from the house wall. Bill Stone lived at Hangleton, and he came on holiday with me and my family to Wales, (a foreign country in those days). I entered the RAF in 1958 and spent 12 years there, returning to Ship Street as a telegraphist in 1970, in 1972 as a P&TO at Bletchley.

    By Raymond Stoner (28/05/2015)
  • Not clear where you are in the photo, Raymond, but I’m glad you enjoyed your subsequent service days. Doubt I would have, although you never can tell where such events can take you in life!

    By Stefan Bremner-Morris (30/05/2015)
  • Any news on Freddie Millward, Bob  Lamper or Ray Hugall?

    By Harry Bennett (18/08/2018)

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