Monday, 23 January 2017

Doorstep deliveries

Just recently our local authority has decided to switch off street lighting between about midnight and six in the morning.  It's just like it was when I was a girl!  Many men worked shifts in my home town as steel making can't be turned off at night so lighting was on until about 11.30 at night to give men coming off the 2-10pm shift time to get home.   It came on at about 5am for people cycling to work to start the 6am-2pm shift.

It also meant that milk deliveries could start soon after 5am.  A stream of milk girls would walk along the main arterial road in our town, each pulling a milk float which was battery powered but it still had to be operated by a girl on foot.  Gradually the stream would diminish as first one girl then another would peel off to do her round.  My mother used to buy a supply of "milk checks" from the Co-op.  These were little plastic discs which could be left out for the milkgirl to pick up when she delivered a pint.  Daily deliveries were vital when few households had a fridge.  Those days are long gone and these days I buy my one pint a week from the supermarket.  


These days even if I wanted a doorstep delivery I couldn't have one.  I'm not the only one to have voted with my feet.  Doorstep deliveries are no longer viable.  

The one sure doorstep delivery now is post.  I've lived in a country where one had to go to the post office to collect letters etc and I much prefer hearing letters rattle though the letterbox. I don't want voting with my feet to endanger that service.  I've opted out of junk mail, I get most regular bills as e mails, and I get very sniffy about the unaddressed junk mail makes the hallway so untidy.  However, I am beginning to feel that if we opt out of too much the Royal Mail may say that doorstep deliveries will become a thing of the past.  I know e mail is cheap and convenient but I am still happy to send letters as I feel they are excellent value for money.  The multitude of Amazon deliveries do their bit to ensure that the postie will keep his job a little bit longer.  Yes sending e mails is frugal but I really don't want the postie to go the way of the milk girl.

11 comments:

  1. I love to receive and send mail, it is a real treat but sadly the cost of postage makes me think twice about little notes that I send.

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    1. If my purse were the only consideration I would totally agree with you but for me it isn't. I think that in comparison to many little treats I could give a friend (eg taking them out for a coffee, buying a bunch of daffs, making a jar of jam) a hand written note is cheap and it gives far more pleasure than an e mail or e card. Secondly I would hate the daily visit from the postie to disappear.

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  2. I agree! It is a shame that the milkman doesn't come any more isn't it. I would have milk delivered a couple of times a week if we had one rather than lugging a great big thing home from the shops - we use more than 1 pint. We will keep sending post!

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    1. The only person I know who still gets a doorstep delivery pays at least 12p a pint more than I do but she feels that is a small price to pay for the service.

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  3. Ours must be one of the few villages which still has a milk round, often at 5 am.

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  4. HI Mary, they've also bought in the great light switch off in our town centre, although it doesn't affect us too much as we are out in the sticks.
    We've never had milk deliveries here in this house but I did used to like my daily bottles of milk on the doorstep and putting out the empties before bed when we lived in our first house.
    It would be a shame to lose our postie altogether although I don't miss the junk mail. There are so many parcel companies out there now it will be interesting to see what happens over the next few years.

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    1. I have reduced the junk mail (especially the addressed junk mail|) and like you I don't miss it. However, I think we still need to make sure that we keep the doorstep postal delivery viable.

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  5. We only have regular mail delivery three days a week in New Zealand. NZ Post says it has to keep costs down.

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  6. They talk all the time about how the US postal service is bankrupt (if you just look at our national debt you'll realize that in all reality the entire country is bankrupt, none the less). It'd be DEVASTATING to not be able to send real mail. I know some people really wouldn't care but it would be awful. We do have a few different post services here though, USPS,UPS, and Fedex are the biggest. Most Amazon packages aren't delivered by the USpostal service so in reality that's not keeping it alive but I don't see it going anywhere anytime soon.

    On another note, I love this post. I love hearing about a different time from someone who lived it; a time I was never a part of. I can just picture the girls pulling the milk floats.

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    1. We too have several parcel delivery firms but only the Royal Mail delivers letters. Posties are also regarded as valuable for the "eye" they keep on lonely and vulnerable people.

      I think that people don't regard their own stories as interesting which is sad. I wish I had asked my Mother more about her childhood which she too probably thought of as ordinary. My own childhood was very ordinary but that's why I think it is important to write it down. It is truly said that God loves ordinary people, that's why he made so many of 'em.

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