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George White - postman

Rushden Echo, 8th June 1917

The Late Mr. George White
Higham Postman’s Death
Journeys Between Rushden and Irthlingborough

George White The funeral of the late Mr. George White, of 8 Corporation-terrace, Higham Ferrers, for 35 years in the employ of the Post Office, took place on Saturday, the Vicar (the Rev. H. K. Fry) officiating at St. Mary’s Church and also at the Cemetery. The coffin was of polished elm, with brass fittings, and the breast plate bearing the inscription:-

Died May 31st 1917
Aged 71 years.

The mourners were Mr. George White, Irthlingborough, Mr. and Mrs. Francis Albert White, Irthlingborough, Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Walter White, Higham Ferrers (sons and daughters-in-law); the Misses Violet, Daisy, and May White, Blanche and Gertie White, Master Freddie and Winnie White, and Master Bernard White (grandchildren); Mrs. White and Mrs. Edgar White, Irthlingborough (granddaughters-in-law). There also followed Mr. R. J. Downing, postmaster, Higham Ferrers, and Messrs. Charles Felce and Frederick Smith, postmen. Besides the family wreaths were flowers from the Post Office Staff at Higham Ferrers; Mr. Seckington, Rushden; the Band Club, Higham Ferrers; and a cross from the neighbours.

The late Mr. White, who had been ailing for some time, but only took to his bed two days before his death, leaves a widow and three sons, one of whom, Mr. R. W. White, has been 18 years in the service.

An Interesting Career

Born at Upper Dean, about eight miles from Rushden, Mr. White was employed in the brickmaking industry a good many years, his removal to Higham Ferrers resulting from his father opening bick works at Higham Ferrers on the premises now known as “Alf Smith’s Place,” and which is passed when walking through the fields from Rushden to Higham Wharf.

An interview with Mr. White was obtained a few years ago by a “Rushden Echo” representative, and some interesting particulars were gleaned. Replying to a question from our representative as to how he came to take up Post Office work, Mr. White said that at one time he had no work to do owing to the slackness of the brick-making trade, when he heard that a man was wanted as mail messenger between the L. and N. M. Station at Irthlingborough and Higham Ferrers. Mr. White had a bid for the situation and obtained it. He would then be about 30 years of age.

“Higham Ferrers,” said Mr. White, “was at that time the head office for the district, and my duties were to carry the mails to this office. I went up and down to the station six times a day between the hours of the deliveries. I used to meet the goods train at 2.55 in the morning. This I did from 1878 to 1883, and then the parcel post came in. I experienced a very rough and hard time for ten years. I was then provided with a pony and cart, and had to get all mails in connection with Irthlingborough, Higham Ferrers, and Rushden. I had to deliver mails to all the houses in Irthlingborough, and part of Rushden, as well as my other duties. That made up 17 years of my time. Then I was put on as a town postman to deliver mails, and I have kept that position ever since.”

Mr. White was married at Dean, to Miss Annie Bowles by the Rev. Mr. Spooner.

For the first five years of his postal work he only had five clear hours’ rest a night and for 17 years the work was very rough and hard.

“I always reckon,” said Mr. White, “that I have covered 100 miles a week for 35 years.” This would make the total number of miles covered in the service of the Post Office by Mr. White 182,000 which is indeed a record to be proud of. Besides his deliveries, Mr. White had during the last few years before his retirement taken the letters to Rushden, carried the bag for Northampton to the L. And N. W. Station at Irthlingborough, and taken the bags to go from Higham to Northampton down to the same station to meet the 7.40 train.

Mr. White received the highest number of stripes, six, representing five years’ service for each stripe. When he has completed 30 years, a postman retires with the pension. Mr. White, however, was so assiduous in his duties that he was allowed to continue his work for five years longer than the usual period, and his duties ceased in 1911 on the occasion of his 65th birthday, his 35 years’ service having been completed, and on May 6th 1911 he was awarded the King’s Long Service Medal.

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