A career with Royal Mail was particularly attractive in the 1930s, when jobs were scarce. It offered a secure future, and a pension at the end of an often long career. Many entered at 14 as Indoor Boy Messengers, who were taken on the basis of an exam and interview. They were provided with a uniform and some educational classes, and the emphasis was very much on discipline, with morning exercise and weekly inspection parades taking place.
In 1909-10, there were 14,000 Boy Messengers delivering telegrams. They were the public face of the service. They were phased out after the Second World War as the use of telegrams dropped.
Royal Mail still has an association with Boy Messengers today thanks to the ‘Messenger boy network’ which provides support for ex-boy messengers.
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