Family connections with Boston’s Post Office date back to 1907

Helping out at the Post Office as a boy during the war and strong family connections hold fond memories for a well-known Boston-area man.

The Rev Richard T. Westland, of Butterwick, says his father worked at the Wide Bargate post office for many years, from its opening in 1907.

The Rev Richard T. Westland with the original programme of the Post Office opening celebrations in 1907.

The Rev Richard T. Westland with the original programme of the Post Office opening celebrations in 1907.

Mr Westland, popular with his parishioners at Skirbeck St Nicholas Church, still has the original programme announcing its official opening and featuring pictures of the postmasters and staff at the time.

“The opening was celebrated with a concert, banquet and ball at the Assemby Rooms,” said Mr Westland. “I wonder if the new premises will get similar treatment.”

His father, Richard H. Westland, worked as a telegrapher there, giving 43 years service to the Post Office. He moved to various branches over the years, returning to Wide Bargate in 1924 until his retirement in 1950.

He later went on to become ordained with the church.

When Mr Westland was at a pupil at Boston Grammar School during the war years, he and others used to help out at the Wide Bargate post office.

“They used to ask the school if any of us could be let out early around Christmas time to help out with the Christmas postal rush,” he said. “I can remember carrying out work to seal the larger mail bags with lead. We did hundreds of them.”

Speaking about the post office today, he praised their work, but added: “It is always so busy with long queues there so if they move it they will need to find somewhere big enough for staff and customers to move around freely and sort out their postage and other important matters

“But it should also be a site convenient for people to get to, and big enough for the post office vans to park outide.”

Concluding, he added: “Let’s hope that whatever they do, that the post office will continue for another 100 years in Boston.”