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Listen to Dear Granny Smith on BBC iPlayer

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00pcdpk/Book_of_the_Week_Dear_Granny_Smith_Episode_1/

Dear Granny Smith: A letter from your postman written by Roy Mayall and delivered by Philip Jackson; a heartfelt musing on the past, present and future role of one of the oldest British institutions, the Postie.

Episode 1

Why postmen used to have the best job in the world, and why it’s heading towards becoming the worst.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00pcdpk/Book_of_the_Week_Dear_Granny_Smith_Episode_1/

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  1. First Amendment
    December 16, 2009 at 10:51 am

    Oh gosh !! I was nearly in tears listening to this programme !!

    My father was a postman for many a long year, but has long since retired and is now not in the best of health. I suppose I was upset at the fact that other people’s dads always seemed to have more important or ‘better’ jobs and I didn’t really appreciate what the posties of old really did.

    Living in the countryside we always offered posties quick cups of coffee and biscuits..

    Not sure you’d get away with that now… A splendid Radio 4 programme which has introduced me to the blog. Maybe I will have to get the book as well..

    p.s. not sure how my dad managed it all – he has mild dyslexia as well [not a joke..]

  2. December 16, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    I hope you do get the book, First Amendment. perhaps your dad would like it for Xmas.

  3. First Amendment
    December 16, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    I will try and get my paws on it, but my dad may struggle as he has Parkinson’s, but I’ve spoken to my mum on the phone so she will try and listen to the radio.

    He did 31 years in the Post Office and has been retired for, er, 18 years I think.

    You see, that is the problem – you bloody posties do all that hard work and exercise, stay mega-fit and cost the country a fortune in pensions !!!

    Don’t let the proverbials grind you down though…

  4. December 16, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    I’m sure the Beeb will bring it out as a talking book or something. I’ll ask. You could read it out to him though. It’s written to be read out, that’s why it works on the radio. Love to your dad. Roy

  5. First Amendment
    December 18, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Oh Mr Mayall !! You have done it again – twice in a week you have brought a tear to my eye, and I have missed a couple of the episodes, so maybe I should have a hanky at the ready for listening to the other episodes on the computer.

    This was so touching, helped in no small part by the sympathetic voice of Philip Jackson whose dulcet tones bring your words and emotion to life.

    I want you to know that whatever else the book does or does not do in terms of sales, you have done something far far more important.

    You have made me appreciate my father and his work in a way which I’m sorry to say has been sadly lacking in my past life. Coming from a farming area and family he was someone who left having a ‘small-holding’ which made not much money to the ‘steady job’ in the old GPO.

    I always felt that this was very much a ‘second-best’ option, no doubt helped along by the fact that he enjoyed doing a share of farming on my grandparents’ farm and by his view that ‘he would never get promoted’ so I should work a bit harder at school than he did.

    But you are so right when you point out the value of public service and that this is something we should take pride in. And if I take more pride in my father and his work then all that hard work you put into that book would never be in vain even if you only sold one copy.

    As it is I’m sure you will sell thousands and through the power of the radio may well touch millions with this story. As someone who has worked for a big corporation in a ‘head office’ I recognise your obsession with targets and measuring and I suppose I’m as guilty as anyone of being in the ivory tower.

    But as Joni Mitchell sang “You don’t know what you’ve got till you’ve gone..”

    Maybe your next book could explore the ‘clay feet’ of the men who helped cause the banking crisis – because I’m sure the way corporations ignore the ‘little people’ had a hand in that as well.

    Thanks again for your hard work in bringing your insights to the wider public.

  6. December 18, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    I happened to hear this by chance on Radio four on Wednesday and went back to the iPlayer to hear the episodes I’d missed.
    My other half is a postlady who’s “walked the streets in town” and now does a rural. Everything you’ve said rings oh so true. I listened to the discussion on You and Yours today with the union man and the Royal Mail man and I think that both completely missed the point of your stories.

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