Dead letters

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Anonymous

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#1
the other night channel 4 screened and australian film called dead letters, it was about all the post that goes undeliverd and ends up in the dead letter room. where a team of people try to trace the sender or intended recipient of the letter. its a spoof documentry and shows people opening letters to lovers and such like. but it got me thinking because i have heard of the dead letter room in the UK, does it exhist or is it UL, do we have people reading mail that is hard to deliver due to people moving on or bad handwritten adress's etc. or is it just another U/L.
 
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Anonymous

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#3
the 'dead letter office' is not a myth. I have had mail sent back to me from the post office because I misspelt the adress so badly that it was undeliverable.

Me misspell?
 

escargot

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#5
When I was a postie, some 20-odd years ago, we went to extraordinary lengths to decipher badly-addressed letters. There were big books with lists of every street name in the country which you could consult to find out if, for example, there was a Primrose Avenue in Stroud, or if it was actually Primrose Lane, or the Primrose Avenue in the next postcode area. I used to enjoy this aspect of the work. (It was less boring than sorting.)

There was a great preponderance of poorly-addressed letters from a certain part of the world, which for PC reasons I shall not name. Begorrah. From there we'd get letters addressed thus-

Mrs O'Hare
31 Street
England
Scotland

I kid you not. Not even a street name. And two countries, just to make it harder.
Sometimes we could deliver these anyway as the correct address was occasionally written neatly inside, often on a piece of paper which I suspect had been given to the letter-writer by the person they were writing to.

All Father Xmas letters are collected and personally answered, by the way. By Santa, of course.

I loved working for the Post Office and always had a soft spot for Cliff in 'Cheers'. Fascinating work.
 
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Anonymous

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#6
One of Clive Barker's books starts off with a character working in a dead letter office in the US. If I recall correctly, he then goes on to acquire mystical (if rather twisted) knowledge from the "lost" letters and parcels that pass through.
 

filcee

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#7
Just read the Clive Barker book (The Great and Secret Show), quite good if a little wierd...

My brother, uncle and one cousin are all posties, they've never mentioned 'dead letters', but have talked about mail 'damaged in transit', especially packages in plain brown wrappers...
 

rynner2

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#8
I've worked as a postie, and certainly undeliverable letters were collected in a special box in the sorting office. I'd always assumed they were examined locally by management for any internal clues. Sending them all to Ulster doesn't seem very efficient, especially as there couldn't have been more than a couple of dozen a day, if that, in our sorting office.
 

liveinabin

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#9
My dad once had a letter delivered to him with nothing on it but his name!!

He lives in a small village and some one meant to put it through his do but put it in the post box by accident. I think that the postman that delivers the post is the same one that collectes from the post box and seeing as how the village has no street names (well it has no streets) and the houses only have names and not numbers he know who it was for.!
 

butterfly27

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#10
I wrote to a friend of mine from hospital last year and tried to remember the address from memory. Not such a good idea. The address I ended up with was a combination of her old address in Gateshead and the new address in Cumbria. Luckily she lives in a small village, has lived there for a fair few years and I had managed to remember the village name correctly, so she still received it. Presumably this was also because the local postie had been doing the round long enough to be familiar with her name. Renewed my confidence in the Post Office that did.;)
 
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