Published on January 5th, 2015 | by admin
New Year, New Owner For Oldest Post Office
Of more than 10,500 Post Office branches in the UK, Sanquhar in Dumfries and Galloway can claim to have the oldest one. In fact it is even recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records as well as the Universal Postal Union as the oldest post office in the entire world!
It is interesting to note that letters posted there even receive the hand stamp ‘The World’s Oldest Post Office’.
More than 300 years old, the Post Office in Sanquhar has had fifteen previous postmasters since it first opened in 1712 and has provided a continuous postage handling service ever since. As such an important and historic building in the local community, it is very apt that the sixteenth postmaster taking over this Post Office from the fifteenth postmaster Penny Murphy, is postal historian Dr Manzoor Alam.
It is staggering to think that when this Post Office first opened in the early eighteenth century, mail arrived by carriage and horses could bed down in the stables next door! In fact the world first postage stamp, the Penny Black, had not even been in existence at this point.
The opening of this first Post Office in Sanquhar, which is a town on the River Nith frequently visited by the legendary Scottish poet Robert Burns in the past, was even before the first post boxes started appearing in 1852.
It is very apt that Dr Alam is taking over the reins at the world’s oldest post office considering that he is both a keen collector of postage stamps and a postal historian too.
As ‘a keen philatelist and postal historian’ Dr Alam has said himself that he hopes to create a postal museum in Sanquhar to ‘promote the rich heritage of the past’ as well as to establish a philatelic society in the southern Scottish town.