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Published on September 1st, 2017 | by Michelle Roper-Shaw

Letter Writing Day

Today is Letter Writing Day. In a world where we are more likely to send a quick text message or social media update to friends and family, it is easy to forget the joy of a hand-written letter.

In a previous article, we spoke of The Joy of Writing. Whether you are keeping in with loved ones and friends far away, writing down personal thoughts or simply organising your day, letter writing is something we should keep alive and well in a digital world.

Letters as a Lifeline

In times of war and other desperate personal conflicts, letter writing is an invaluable lifeline.

We recently wrote about the newly opened Postal Museum in our article The Postal Museum Goes Underground. A current exhibition at the museum Writing Home: Letters as a Lifeline emphasises the importance of letter writing.

The exhibition includes letters from soldiers at war, a man in exile, a human trafficking survivor and a nurse “chasing a dream”. It brings letter writing to life by focusing on the individuals behind the words.

Men of Letters

men of lettersDuring the first and second world wars, soldiers and their loved ones exchanged billions of letters and parcels to boost morale. In 1917, 19,000 mailbags crossed the English Channel every day.

Duncan Barrett’s book Men of Letters tells the story of the Post Office Rifles during World War One. You can read the moving diary entries and letters from these men, ordinary postmen and messenger boys sent to the trenches of the Western Front. The letters themselves are now held at the Imperial War Museum and the Postal Museum.



Famous Writers’ Letters Go to Auction

Letter writing from a more opulent and decadent period will be under focus on 9th September 2017. A rare collection of letters, autographs and drawings from the Victorian and Regency era will be up for auction at the Lacy Scott & Knight auction rooms.

Included in the collection is a letter from George Prince, Regent cancelling a dinner invitation in which the Prince writes that he hopes; “to make up for this punishing disappointment”.

There is also a letter from Charles Dickens in which he describes a visit from fellow writer Hans Christian Andersen in 1857.  In the letter, Dickens amusingly describes:

“He was here for some six weeks, and I turned his face to Folkestone a week ago. His existence was of the most bewildered kind… He could not pronounce the name of his own book, The Improvisatore, in Italian; and his translatress appears to make out that he can’t speak Danish.”

Get Writing

Inspired to write a letter today? Make the right impression with Basildon Bond Writing Paper and Envelopes. The perfect choice for sending personal letters and messages to family and friends you don’t see as often as you would like.

These writing pads include a sheet of blotting paper, so why not make your letters extra special by taking the time to write your words with a fountain pen?

Various pack sizes and styles of First Class Stamps and Second Class Stamps are available from the Post Office Shop. Make sure to also check our Choosing Your Packaging guide to ensure you pick the right envelope or mailing box for the size and weight of your letter or parcel.

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