Memory Lane: Motorcycle lads made sure the message got through

Pat Marshall

Pat Marshall

In these days of email, texting and mobile phone calls, it’s hard to imagine that within memory the fastest way to deliver urgent messages was, in many cases, by motorcyle messenger.

Like most major towns, Grantham had a team of telegram boys.

These lads were photographed at the former Grantham GPO building in 1948 and include Michael Matsell.

Michael, of Redcliffe Road, Grantham, is a regular contributor to Memory Lane and has been a keen amateur photographer.

He took some of these pictures and has named former colleagues. comments: “It was a wonderful time being issued with James 125 motorcycles. We had to wear blue crash helmets which looked like half an eggshell with GPO on the front. Later, in 1949, we had BSA Bantam machines. “

Nationally, during its heyday in the 1930s, the telegram service was delivering an average of 65 million messages per year.

The service finally ended in September 1982 after 139 years.

Michael adds: “The two men walking in the yard were telephone engineers, Mr Cross, on the right, and his mate. They were called the ‘heavy gang’ because they put up the long-gone double ‘H’ telegraph poles on the Old North Road.

l Do you have pictures from your workplace years ago? We’d love to see and share them. E-mail or call 01476 541424




Back to the top of the page