Colne’s dedicated mailmen

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It’s a quantum leap back in time this week to the year 1959 with the elite cameraman Fred Whitaker christening his photograph “Colne postmen awaiting the mail, 5am, April 1959”.

Here captured forever at the Albert Road Royal Mail sorting office (closed in February, 2000, by megalomaniac lickspittles) are some of Colne’s best-known postmen of the 20th Century.

From left to right are long-serving and dedicated mailmen beginning with Harry “Shufti” Wilson and “Little Johnny” Strickland. Next we see Inspector Norman Mitchell with Bert Long at the front.

Hidden behind Bert is Tommy McDermott, followed by Ken Speak, then Bob Gregson and, on the far right, is dear old Harold “Dai” Evans, who trained me as a postman many years ago.

These men were, during the post-war years, some of the most familiar faces in town as they delivered the mail on their daily postal rounds throughout Colne and the surrounding area.

They had served with great pride and distinction during the Second World War, in the jungles of Burma, the deserts of North Africa and on the beaches of Dunkirk with the Black Watch, Royal Engineers and the East Lancashire Regiment.

Now every one seen here in 1959 has gone to the Great Sorting Office in the sky.

Their years spent with us are remembered still.