The young woman behind the desk within my local post office looked bewildered. “I think we’ve got some somewhere”, she mumbled before returning with a pile of dusty envelopes. “Nobody really asks for these any more,” she admitted.
A century ago this month the world’s very air that is first service began
Passed beneath the counter and into my hand was a good example of a mode of communication which has had all but vanished. Because of Skype, texts and e-mails, there’s need that is little when it comes to small pale blue envelopes because of the diagonal red and blue stripes round the border, extra thin blue writing paper and great number of stamps and post marks that constitutes an air mail letter. Dr. Richard Saundry, editor associated with British Air Mail Society Journal, believes that we’re at risk of losing something both powerful and romantic.
“I think it is very regrettable that nobody generally seems to use air mail any more”, he informs me. “We live in a really lazy age now and something happens to be lost. There’s a thrill that is huge excitement, and a type of romance in receiving an air mail letter through the other side around the globe on your own door mat. The online world just can’t replace that.”
A hundred years ago this month the world’s very first air mail service began. Flying from Allahabad, near Delhi, only seven years after the Wright brothers made their first forays in to the air, the plane, flown by a French pilot called Henri Pequet, travelled 15 miles to Naini. Up to speed were six and a half thousand letters including one published by Motilal Nehru, father regarding the president that is first of India.
The UK wasn’t far behind with the air that is first flight lifting faraway from Hendon to Windsor later that year. Today the speed that these pioneers succeeded in reaching to get letters around the world is seldom beaten. Richard in the fresh air Mail Society told me of a letter he possesses that was sent from Buenos Aires to China in 1938. The letter arrived in 13 days- a feat that would be hard to match now without paying reasonably limited to a courier company that is private.
As a young child I was thinking there was clearly nothing more exciting than getting letters that are occasional my aunt in South Africa. Covered in strange stamps and smudged post marks, the creased letter paper writer would contain pages of dense hand writing describing life in Cape Town in the latter many years of apartheid. It seemed just like getting a personal letter from an esteemed foreign correspondent additionally the gravitas of receiving these letters was so great that, two decades on, I still possess them. I still receive news it’s by e-mail, the tone is scrappy and, in my hastily returned missives, a huge degree of effort and attempt at phrasing and sentence structure is missing from her, but these days.
“Getting an air mail letter was a great deal much better than a phone call”, admits Kate Hunter, a ward that is retired in Nottingham, whose husband had an extended career into the oil industry.
“He was away for months at a time during the 1970’s and I always found the phone that is rushed he could occasionally make in my opinion really unsatisfying”, she recalled in my experience.
“What i must say i loved were the days when an air mail letter from Kuwait or Dubai would slide through the letter box. It had been only on paper that my husband was really in a position to express his feelings, let me know how much he had been missing me and give me a truer that is much of what he was going right on through. There’s an honesty to a hand written letter which you can’t get in a phone call or an e-mail. I would personally like to have the letter, curl up in the sofa with a cup of tea and lose myself in just the handwriting for a while. Even though the letters could take ages to arrive, I somehow felt closer to him whilst holding an air mail letter we spoke on the phone. than I ever did when”
With personal air mail envelopes in hand, i got to my home to realise I’d made a error that is serious. I needed to create, but to whom? I had e-mail addresses for my buddies based everywhere from Montevideo to Monaco but I found i did son’t have a single address that is postal some of them anymore. Just what exactly did i actually do? I experienced no choice aside from to e-mail my buddies asking with their address.
Five days later, and I also still haven’t got around to writing anything- preferring to have a ‘Skype’ chat instead. Maybe Richard was right about us surviving in a lazy age. One hundred years from now, will our descendents have any basic idea in regards to the allure of a letter of love, heartache or politics that has travelled around the world by plane?