Royal Mail launch project to find long-forgotten letters


03 May 2016
Screen-Shot-2016-05-04-at-11.52.26-52489.png Lucy Worsley
Royal Mail are encouraging the general public to submit forgotten letters to a growing archive of correspondence that reflects our social history

While we postal historians and stamp collectors are often more concerned with the stamps and markings on the envelope, we are now being encouraged to examine the contents as part of a campaign to bring together forgotten letters that reveal more about our social and cultural history.

Royal Mail’s ‘Letters of our Lives’ project coincides with the 500th anniversary of the knighting of Brian Tuke, the first Master of the Posts, said to be the catalyst for the founding of a postal service.

Royal Mail also issued a set of stamps to mark the 500th anniversary

To mark the anniversary, Royal Mail are asking people to look in their attics, rummage around their garages and search their sheds for letters or postcards that give a personal account of life in the UK, from centuries ago to the present day.

Read more about postal history in every issue of Stamp & Coin Mart magazine

Any type of letter or postcard can be submitted to the project as long as it has been hand written, and examples will be published on the special website at:

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TV historian, and Chief Curator Historic Royal Palaces, Lucy Worsley (pictured), will be reading all the letters.

She said: ‘Lots of the nationally important documents in our archives up and down Britain relate to nationally important events, like the Industrial Revolution or the abolition of slavery. But often legal or official documents miss out the human stories, how people were feeling about the great issues of the day. That’s something you get best from personal letters. I can’t wait to read all the letters and postcards, and to share in the pride of the families who’ve found a story to tell us.’