Resident create their own sorting office

June Manning and Tilly Gordon collecting their mail from the makeshift sorting office on the park. Photo credit: BNPS

June Manning and Tilly Gordon collecting their mail from the makeshift sorting office on the park. Photo credit: BNPS

First published in News
Last updated

THE elderly residents of a park home site have had to set up their own makeshift sorting office after the Royal Mail refused to deliver post to their houses.

The postman who visits the 81 homes is alleged to have been threatened by one resident and now the Royal Mail have suspended deliveries amid fears for his safety.

An army of volunteers, some aged in their 80s and 90s, are left with the scrupulous task of sorting through hundreds of letters in the estate office where the mail is left.

The team spend an hour dividing the mail into piles for the individual properties at the Oaklands Home Park in Warmwell near Dorchester, Dorset.

Homeowners, many of whom are frail, then have to walk to the office to collect their post - although the volunteers deliver letters to the doors of the least agile.

At least two of the residents have missed hospital appointments because of the disruption and dozens of Mother's Day cards were late arriving too.

June Manning, 80, who has lived at the park for 16 years, said: "The post arrives in the day and by late afternoon we all have to go down to collect it.

"Most of the residents are between 80 and 90 years old and rely on basic services like post.

"Royal Mail's reasoning is that the safety of their postmen was paramount but what sort of danger do they think they're under from a group of OAPs?

"Their actions are unfair. If they want to punish someone they should punish the person they have a dispute with, not the entire park."

The dispute comes just days after the Royal Mail bumped the price of a first class stamp up to 62 pence and six months after the company was privatised by the Government.

Irene Gordon-Till, 80, who has lived at Oaklands for more than 20 years, called a meeting of the park's residents after mail stopped being delievered to her door.

The retired nurse, known as Tilly, said: "Royal Mail gave us no warning that they were stopping delivery of our mail - it just didn't come all of a sudden.

"Now they are delivering it in bulk to the park office and we're left to sort it out ourselves.

"For elderly people letters can be a real lifeline and they just cut it off.

"With the cost of a first class stamp going up to 62p we are paying more than ever for postage yet we are getting less service.

"Everyone has the right to do their job without getting abused but it's about the principal of it - Royal Mail is expected to fulfil the service they advertise."

Doug Houston, a manager for park owners RS Hill and Sons, branded the situation 'ridiculous' and said he was in negotiations with Royal Mail as to how to resolve it.

Mr Houston said: "There was an altercation between one of the residents and the postman, and so without any warning Royal Mail stopped delivering to any of the homes.

"The situation is a bit ridiculous.

"I am very disappointed with Royal Mail's professionalism - many elderly people rely on post for letters about hospital appointments and other important information.

"Not getting their post could have huge consequences for any one of the park's residents."

As the designated provider of the 'universal postal service', Royal Mail is legally bound to deliver mail once a day, six times a week, to all addresses in the UK.

However they may refuse to deliver to addresses that are remote or inaccessible, or those which present a danger to their staff.

Mike Devanny, spokesman for Royal Mail, said services had been suspended due to "threatening behaviour" by one of the park residents.

He added that deliveries to the park office resumed three days later at the request of the site owners.

He said: "The safety and welfare of our staff is paramount and we only suspend deliveries if the safety of our postmen and women is at risk.

"We would be happy to discuss arrangements that would allow a reversion to delivery to individual properties on the site if requested by the site owners or residents association."

Comments (10)

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6:56pm Thu 3 Apr 14

westbaywonder says...

The delivery of the queens mail is paramount !

Postman Pat eh,always looking for attention these jokers,sack them all and bring in the best in this game UPS!
The delivery of the queens mail is paramount ! Postman Pat eh,always looking for attention these jokers,sack them all and bring in the best in this game UPS! westbaywonder
  • Score: -14

7:32am Fri 4 Apr 14

intiindiana says...

Royal Mail lost 9 letters I posted in a box in Weymouth town centre at the same time last December. They still have not been found. It also takes 2 days for a first class letter posted in Weymouth to arrive. Other parts of the country post first class mail and it arrives the next day.
Royal Mail lost 9 letters I posted in a box in Weymouth town centre at the same time last December. They still have not been found. It also takes 2 days for a first class letter posted in Weymouth to arrive. Other parts of the country post first class mail and it arrives the next day. intiindiana
  • Score: -8

7:49am Fri 4 Apr 14

The Fish says...

westbaywonder wrote:
The delivery of the queens mail is paramount !

Postman Pat eh,always looking for attention these jokers,sack them all and bring in the best in this game UPS!
Unfortunately UPS don't do letters, a quick check on their website and it would cost £46 to send one item (admittedly the website only allowed me to enter the weight as whole numbers, i.,e. 1kg) - Royal Mail would charge £3.20 - no comparison really!
[quote][p][bold]westbaywonder[/bold] wrote: The delivery of the queens mail is paramount ! Postman Pat eh,always looking for attention these jokers,sack them all and bring in the best in this game UPS![/p][/quote]Unfortunately UPS don't do letters, a quick check on their website and it would cost £46 to send one item (admittedly the website only allowed me to enter the weight as whole numbers, i.,e. 1kg) - Royal Mail would charge £3.20 - no comparison really! The Fish
  • Score: 12

7:54am Fri 4 Apr 14

The Fish says...

intiindiana wrote:
Royal Mail lost 9 letters I posted in a box in Weymouth town centre at the same time last December. They still have not been found. It also takes 2 days for a first class letter posted in Weymouth to arrive. Other parts of the country post first class mail and it arrives the next day.
Unlucky to have lost nine letters but I would dispute the two days for first class letters. Throughout the country mail is treated the same, i.e. if you post before 6pm it is collected and sent to a central regional area sorting office before being sent (that night) to the regional sorting office of the letters destination - for it then to be delivered next day! I suspect that your two day was due to the letter being posted after 6pm.
The Post Office do a great job (as do the posties) and all for 62p!
[quote][p][bold]intiindiana[/bold] wrote: Royal Mail lost 9 letters I posted in a box in Weymouth town centre at the same time last December. They still have not been found. It also takes 2 days for a first class letter posted in Weymouth to arrive. Other parts of the country post first class mail and it arrives the next day.[/p][/quote]Unlucky to have lost nine letters but I would dispute the two days for first class letters. Throughout the country mail is treated the same, i.e. if you post before 6pm it is collected and sent to a central regional area sorting office before being sent (that night) to the regional sorting office of the letters destination - for it then to be delivered next day! I suspect that your two day was due to the letter being posted after 6pm. The Post Office do a great job (as do the posties) and all for 62p! The Fish
  • Score: 13

3:28pm Fri 4 Apr 14

westbaywonder says...

The Fish wrote:
westbaywonder wrote:
The delivery of the queens mail is paramount !

Postman Pat eh,always looking for attention these jokers,sack them all and bring in the best in this game UPS!
Unfortunately UPS don't do letters, a quick check on their website and it would cost £46 to send one item (admittedly the website only allowed me to enter the weight as whole numbers, i.,e. 1kg) - Royal Mail would charge £3.20 - no comparison really!
I am talking about UPS taking over from Royal Mail and providing the same service ie LETTERS!!!
[quote][p][bold]The Fish[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]westbaywonder[/bold] wrote: The delivery of the queens mail is paramount ! Postman Pat eh,always looking for attention these jokers,sack them all and bring in the best in this game UPS![/p][/quote]Unfortunately UPS don't do letters, a quick check on their website and it would cost £46 to send one item (admittedly the website only allowed me to enter the weight as whole numbers, i.,e. 1kg) - Royal Mail would charge £3.20 - no comparison really![/p][/quote]I am talking about UPS taking over from Royal Mail and providing the same service ie LETTERS!!! westbaywonder
  • Score: -7

3:34pm Fri 4 Apr 14

westbaywonder says...

Seems Fish is a pat, also seems to have dinged all the scores on here and kissed their backsides no end!!
The end is coming for RM and not soon enough!!!
Seems Fish is a pat, also seems to have dinged all the scores on here and kissed their backsides no end!! The end is coming for RM and not soon enough!!! westbaywonder
  • Score: -7

2:36pm Sat 5 Apr 14

JackJohnson says...

You're experiencing the shape of things to come with a privatised Royal Mail.

Any reason to take away the delivery service from widespread areas, without reducing the cost of sending them, will be taken advantage of. Eventually they'll reduce the delivery service from 6 days a week, to 3 days a week and get rid of half the delivery staff.

TBH I can't remember when I last sent, or received, a letter (other than a bill or reminder about VED). The Internet does a perfectly adequate job. Perhaps snail-mail is at the end of its life now, other than for parcels.
You're experiencing the shape of things to come with a privatised Royal Mail. Any reason to take away the delivery service from widespread areas, without reducing the cost of sending them, will be taken advantage of. Eventually they'll reduce the delivery service from 6 days a week, to 3 days a week and get rid of half the delivery staff. TBH I can't remember when I last sent, or received, a letter (other than a bill or reminder about VED). The Internet does a perfectly adequate job. Perhaps snail-mail is at the end of its life now, other than for parcels. JackJohnson
  • Score: 0

5:27pm Sat 5 Apr 14

Rocksalt says...

westbaywonder wrote:
The Fish wrote:
westbaywonder wrote:
The delivery of the queens mail is paramount !

Postman Pat eh,always looking for attention these jokers,sack them all and bring in the best in this game UPS!
Unfortunately UPS don't do letters, a quick check on their website and it would cost £46 to send one item (admittedly the website only allowed me to enter the weight as whole numbers, i.,e. 1kg) - Royal Mail would charge £3.20 - no comparison really!
I am talking about UPS taking over from Royal Mail and providing the same service ie LETTERS!!!
I doubt that UPS would be interested in taking over a universal delivery service. Drive a van half way across the county to deliver one letter. Don't think so. More likely all people living in remote areas would have to get used to driving to nearest town to collect, or indeed post, their mail.
[quote][p][bold]westbaywonder[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]The Fish[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]westbaywonder[/bold] wrote: The delivery of the queens mail is paramount ! Postman Pat eh,always looking for attention these jokers,sack them all and bring in the best in this game UPS![/p][/quote]Unfortunately UPS don't do letters, a quick check on their website and it would cost £46 to send one item (admittedly the website only allowed me to enter the weight as whole numbers, i.,e. 1kg) - Royal Mail would charge £3.20 - no comparison really![/p][/quote]I am talking about UPS taking over from Royal Mail and providing the same service ie LETTERS!!![/p][/quote]I doubt that UPS would be interested in taking over a universal delivery service. Drive a van half way across the county to deliver one letter. Don't think so. More likely all people living in remote areas would have to get used to driving to nearest town to collect, or indeed post, their mail. Rocksalt
  • Score: 0

3:52pm Mon 7 Apr 14

intiindiana says...

The Fish wrote:
intiindiana wrote:
Royal Mail lost 9 letters I posted in a box in Weymouth town centre at the same time last December. They still have not been found. It also takes 2 days for a first class letter posted in Weymouth to arrive. Other parts of the country post first class mail and it arrives the next day.
Unlucky to have lost nine letters but I would dispute the two days for first class letters. Throughout the country mail is treated the same, i.e. if you post before 6pm it is collected and sent to a central regional area sorting office before being sent (that night) to the regional sorting office of the letters destination - for it then to be delivered next day! I suspect that your two day was due to the letter being posted after 6pm.
The Post Office do a great job (as do the posties) and all for 62p!
The letter was posted at 9.30am on Thursday in Weymouth town centre, but did not arrive in Cornwall until Saturday. A return letter from Cornwall posted on Monday arrived in Weymouth on Tuesday. I have since discovered that a birthday card posted in Weymouth town centre last May did not arrive. A year ago it took a letter posted in Weymouth town centre to arrive in Merseyside. This is becoming more frequent.
[quote][p][bold]The Fish[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]intiindiana[/bold] wrote: Royal Mail lost 9 letters I posted in a box in Weymouth town centre at the same time last December. They still have not been found. It also takes 2 days for a first class letter posted in Weymouth to arrive. Other parts of the country post first class mail and it arrives the next day.[/p][/quote]Unlucky to have lost nine letters but I would dispute the two days for first class letters. Throughout the country mail is treated the same, i.e. if you post before 6pm it is collected and sent to a central regional area sorting office before being sent (that night) to the regional sorting office of the letters destination - for it then to be delivered next day! I suspect that your two day was due to the letter being posted after 6pm. The Post Office do a great job (as do the posties) and all for 62p![/p][/quote]The letter was posted at 9.30am on Thursday in Weymouth town centre, but did not arrive in Cornwall until Saturday. A return letter from Cornwall posted on Monday arrived in Weymouth on Tuesday. I have since discovered that a birthday card posted in Weymouth town centre last May did not arrive. A year ago it took a letter posted in Weymouth town centre to arrive in Merseyside. This is becoming more frequent. intiindiana
  • Score: 0

3:55pm Mon 7 Apr 14

intiindiana says...

intiindiana wrote:
The Fish wrote:
intiindiana wrote:
Royal Mail lost 9 letters I posted in a box in Weymouth town centre at the same time last December. They still have not been found. It also takes 2 days for a first class letter posted in Weymouth to arrive. Other parts of the country post first class mail and it arrives the next day.
Unlucky to have lost nine letters but I would dispute the two days for first class letters. Throughout the country mail is treated the same, i.e. if you post before 6pm it is collected and sent to a central regional area sorting office before being sent (that night) to the regional sorting office of the letters destination - for it then to be delivered next day! I suspect that your two day was due to the letter being posted after 6pm.
The Post Office do a great job (as do the posties) and all for 62p!
The letter was posted at 9.30am on Thursday in Weymouth town centre, but did not arrive in Cornwall until Saturday. A return letter from Cornwall posted on Monday arrived in Weymouth on Tuesday. I have since discovered that a birthday card posted in Weymouth town centre last May did not arrive. A year ago it took a letter posted in Weymouth town centre to arrive in Merseyside. This is becoming more frequent.
It took a month for a letter posted in Weymouth town centre to arrive in Merseyside.
[quote][p][bold]intiindiana[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]The Fish[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]intiindiana[/bold] wrote: Royal Mail lost 9 letters I posted in a box in Weymouth town centre at the same time last December. They still have not been found. It also takes 2 days for a first class letter posted in Weymouth to arrive. Other parts of the country post first class mail and it arrives the next day.[/p][/quote]Unlucky to have lost nine letters but I would dispute the two days for first class letters. Throughout the country mail is treated the same, i.e. if you post before 6pm it is collected and sent to a central regional area sorting office before being sent (that night) to the regional sorting office of the letters destination - for it then to be delivered next day! I suspect that your two day was due to the letter being posted after 6pm. The Post Office do a great job (as do the posties) and all for 62p![/p][/quote]The letter was posted at 9.30am on Thursday in Weymouth town centre, but did not arrive in Cornwall until Saturday. A return letter from Cornwall posted on Monday arrived in Weymouth on Tuesday. I have since discovered that a birthday card posted in Weymouth town centre last May did not arrive. A year ago it took a letter posted in Weymouth town centre to arrive in Merseyside. This is becoming more frequent.[/p][/quote]It took a month for a letter posted in Weymouth town centre to arrive in Merseyside. intiindiana
  • Score: 0

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