The Walking Postie

March 20, 2019

I spoke to Betty Murray and showed her this photo. She said that is my grandfather David Skinner who was the postman for this area and he walked to Fearn Station 9 miles away from Portmahomack for the mail then on the way back he started delivering the mail.

Betty said her father was a postman too and eventually got a bike to cycle to Fearn station for the mail.

I wonder how many miles her grandfather clocked up in a year walking for and delivering the mail and in all weathers too, snow, hail, rain gales etc and it must have been very hard in winter with snow drifts. I have heard that the walking postman seldom used a road and went direct line from house to house. In another area I had heard a postman did not turn up so they walked in a straight line to the next house till they found him and with snow drifts being so deep it was easier to walk across fields. I was told of how deep the snow was one time in another area the postman sat on top of the telegraph (Telephone) post for a rest so it must have been 5 metres deep.

The postman today does not know how lucky he or she is in their lovely van to drive round in with a heater to keep them warm and dry!

Our postal address had Fearn in it at one time, now it is dropped as Tain is the main sorting office and we have a postcode.

Written by Douglas Gordon.

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