Stealing the mail: crime and welfare in the Victorian Post Office

Dudley Street, Seven Dials Gustave Doré, 1872. Source: Wellcome Images,, Photo number: L0000881. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. Few have heard of the C.I.B. (Confidential Inquiry Branch), the Post Office’s secret service department whose function it was to bring dishonest Post Office employees to justice. The C.I.B…. Read More

Finding Stories

Selby Post Office, 2012 © Jonathan Thacker and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.  We discussed in a previous blog how trade union members and Royal Mail employees are responding to the dangers of Covid-19, where criticisms about the lack of PPE, social distancing, and staggered work hours have formed the basis of concerns…. Read More

Fathers and Sons: Post Office Families

Today marks the International Day of Families. As the UN points out at times of crisis, it can be ‘families who bear the brunt of the crisis, sheltering their members from harm… at the same time, continuing their work responsibilities’. For many, family has never felt more important, and to mark this special day we… Read More

City living: What Victorian postal workers can tell us about urban health

The latest worrying figures from the Office for National Statistics show that city-dwellers have the highest mortality rate from Covid-19, with London’s deaths at almost double the next highest regional rate. The hardest-hit local authorities are all in the capital. And the urban-rural divide in health outcomes has a long history: A new paper from… Read More

Why I love the pension records

To mark #museumathome day we thought we’d share some more information on a set of archives that are integral for our project and helped to form our collaboration with the Postal Museum. Here Dr Kathleen McIlvenna talks about her favourite records – the pensions granted to postal workers by the Treasury – and the wealth… Read More

The Pandemic Victorian Post Office

Much has been written in the news lately about how best to protect the health of postal workers during a pandemic. At a time when we’re all beginning to reconsider what or who constitutes a ‘vital’ worker, it’s becoming increasingly apparent just how critical Royal Mail workers are. Both Royal Mail employers and employees have… Read More

Welcome to the project

Welcome to Addressing Health, a three year collaborative project funded by the Wellcome and involving a partnership between King’s College London, the University of Derby, Kingston University UCL, and The Postal Museum. The research focusses on exploring ill health and sickness rates in the Victorian and Edwardian Post Office using a range of primary sources including… Read More