Post It: New exhibition charting postal service in Preston opens

Posted on - 9th October, 2013 - 6:00am | Author - | Posted in - History, Things to Do in and around Preston
The old Preston Post Office on Fishergate in 1903

The old Preston Post Office on Fishergate in 1903

A new exhibition celebrating the history of the postal service in Preston has opened.


The Harris Museum and Art Gallery will be home to Post It! which charts the life and times of posties in the city.

Displays include a letter posted from Preston to London in 1709. It was sent by the Duke of Hamilton, a member of the House of Lords.

Alongside the exhibition will be a number of talks about the postal service in Preston between 1700 and 1840.

Emma Heslewood, Curator of History at the Harris Museum & Art Gallery, said: “This project was an exciting opportunity for the Harris Museum and City of Preston Philatelic Society to bring together their stamp and postal history collections to explore Preston’s postal history.

“Visitors will be fascinated to see the range of material on display from the 1700s to 1840s and read some of the stories we have uncovered. I hope the story of what happened to uncollected valentines in Preston will make people smile.”

Many of the items on display have been donated by the City of Preston Philatelic Society.

Paul Gaywood from the society said: “The Royal Mail has been an important part of British commercial life since the reign of Charles II when the service was allowed to be used by the public for a fee. Regional postmarks were introduced into important towns such as Preston in about 1705 and the earliest item on display dates from 1707. From then on the use of the post has increased and is now used by millions in Britain every day.”

The exhibition is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm and on Monday from 11am to 5pm. It is free to attend but closed on Sunday. It is running until 23 February 2014.

Events and talks during the exhibition:

Afternoon Talks
The History of Preston Posts
Wed 9 Oct, 2pm-3pm
Free – no need to book
Join us on World Post Day with Paul Gaywood from the City of Preston Philatelic Society for a history of Preston’s postal service and see new display Post It!

A Letter to Hudson Bay
Wed 27 Nov, 1pm-1.30pm
Free – no need to book
A talk about the intriguing envelope from 1846 and its connection to a controversial but happy marriage between Ann Addison and Major Crofton

Family Events
Hands On History: Super Stamps! (for ages 5-12)
Tues 29 Oct, 1.30pm-3.30pm
Free – not need to book, just drop in
All about stamp collecting with the City of Preston Philatelic Society

Hands On History: Valentine’s Cards (for ages 5-12)
Sat 8 Feb, 1.30pm-3.30pm
Free – no need to book, just drop in
Discover Valentine’s cards from the past and be inspired to create your own!

How to … Collect and Care for Stamps
Sat 16 Nov, 1pm-3pm
Free – booking essential on 01772 905414 or via
This practical workshop led by the City of Preston Philatelic Society will provide advice and inspiration on starting or developing your own stamp collection

Image credit to the Preston Digital Archive

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