Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Royal Mail Coach

To celebrate the centenary of their inauguration, the Norfolk and Norwich Philatelist Society have arranged for the display of a Royal Mail Coach in the atrium of the Forum, outside the Millennium Library. Only a few mail coaches have survived the corrosion of time. The Norwich N205, found in a dilapidated condition in Cardiff in 1966, has been lovingly restored.

The  mail service from Norwich to London operated from the years 1785 to 1846. With the introduction of the Railway, it was last route to be withdrawn. Actually one reason why Norwich is sometimes viewed as idiosyncratic in its cultural heritage could be because until the introduction of the railway, it was often quicker to travel to Amsterdam than to London. Norwich to London involved marsh, forest, and the possibility of highway robbery; although the royal Mail coach  delivered mail to London in 13 hours, an achievement made by frequent change of horses. Coach travel for individuals however often involved an overnight stop at a post-house hostel. In contrast the journey from Norwich to Amsterdam by the waterways of river, sea and canal  from the Middle Ages until the advent of the railway, was often as quick  to travel as to London.


teegee said...

I'll look for it by number on BBC TV series of the right period! It's a beauty.

scalambra said...

It's still quicker to travel to Amsterdam from Norwich than to London. The train to London is 2 hours, but the flight time to Amsterdam is only 35 minuutes airborne. Even getting to the airport an hour ahead of time, and ten minutes to walk out of Schiphol at the other end, that's 10 minutes in hand.