Charles Langton

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Date published: 31/10/2014
© Newbury Weekly News

CHARLES LANGTON

 

NEWBURY POST OFFICE IN THE SEVENTIES

75 years ago 15 June 1939

 

Memories of Newbury Post Office way back in the seventies are still vivid in the mind of Mr. Charles Langton of 13 Priory Road, Newbury, a former head postman, who today celebrates his 92nd birthday.

Mr. Langton and his wife were married in March 1878 in Winterbourne Church and celebrated their diamond wedding last year.

On the eve of his birthday yesterday Mr. Langton, with the aid of the family album, related a few of his interesting reminiscences to our representative.

The son of a boot-repairer at St Mary's Hill, he first joined the Post Office staff in 1871 and after five months service as a rural messenger at Crookham he was moved to Leckhampstead. During part of his time he undertook the rounds of other postmen when they fell ill, and he recalls he once walked from Newbury through Shaw, Hermitage, Marlston, Frilsham and Frilsham Common to Yattendon and back. The delivery took three hours each way.

Mr. Langton joined the town service in 1872 as head postman under the head postmaster Mr. F.S. Adnams. Their uniform consisted of a three quarter length coat with belt, a hard black hat with a patent band at the front.

In the seventies the post office was open from seven in the morning until ten at night, and the three postmen engaged on the town delivery made three rounds daily each working ten hours in all. After a while their duties became so heavy that an auxiliary postman was employed.

He also has vivid recollections of the great blizzard of 1881, which began on the night of the Hunt Ball and prevented many people from attending. When it started he was on the railway station dispatching the early mail to London. After making his mid-day round he returned to the Post Office covered from head to foot in snow, including his large moustache, and at first the postmaster did not recognise him.

When Mr. Langton first joined the GPO staff the Post Office was in the Market Place, where the Westminster Bank is now situated.

He is the oldest Oddfellow in the district, having belonged to the society for over 72 years.

Mr. and Mrs. Langton have five children.

 

Newbury Weekly News 2014

Charles Langton buried 14 December 1943 aged 96

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