Ryde Social Heritage Group research the social history of the citizens of Ryde, Isle of Wight. Documenting their lives, businesses and burial transcriptions.
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Poppy & Jill at the Postal Museum
Poppy & Jill at the Postal Museum

On Saturday 27 September seventeen of our members had a very enjoyable visit to the Isle of Wight Postal Museum on the Fairlee Road, near Newport.The museum is a private collection of over 200 post boxes and several thousand items of postal equipment, papers and associated material owned by Mr Arthur Reeder. It is only open to the general public by prior arrangement.

It was a lovely sunny morning and Mr Reeder made us very welcome. He had set out a special table top exhibition for us with postal artefacts related to the World Wars. First of all we were shown around the outside collection of pillar boxes. These were an amazing assortment of shapes and sizes from all different periods of the history of the post. The different monarchs initials and crowns were particularly interesting.

Next we entered the museum building and it was quite a shock to see the vast expanse of letterboxes arranged practically wall to wall. There was a display of postmen and women’s caps from Victorian to modern day. One end of the museum houses the old counter, shelves and many artefacts and documents from the East Cowes Post Office. (Poppy and Jill found a selection of saucy postcards here!) Mr Reeder volunteered lots of information and answered our many questions as we wandered around.

Mrs Reeder had very kindly arranged refreshments for us which we enjoyed as we sat outside in the sunshine. Mr Reeder continued to keep us all very entertained with his many post related tales and kept disappearing and then returning with yet more interesting artefacts and documents. A postman’s whistle with an identical sound to a policeman’s whistle (we saw and heard both), and a white five pound note are just some examples.

The Postal Museum is well worth a visit and most of us agreed that we didn’t really have time to see it all in one go. If anyone is interested in a visit Mr Reeder can be contacted at –

Isle of Wight Postal Museum
Last Post
408 Fairlee Road
Isle of Wight
PO30 2JX

or by email at www.postalmuseum.co.uk

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