Videos – British Pathé Documentary Footage

A range of video material on topics related to the British Post Office or British mails, available in the newsreel archives of British Pathé. The links will open the video in a new window or tab.

Most links are to the copy on the British Pathé site (these are not embeddable), a few are to additional videos found on YouTube.

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PMG introduces Silver Jubilee stamp and shows processes of manufacture [1935, 1:36] (link)
Music Hall comedian George Robey discusses his love of stamp collecting [1937, 3:07] (link)
England Winners World Cup stamps sell out [1966, 1:01] (link)
New issue of Christmas stamps on sale at Trafalgar Square [1967, 0:43] (link)
Royal Mail reveal new British Bridges postage stamp designs [1968, 0:37] (link)

Public Information Films

Christmas Rush Begins - Post early and often and help GPO [1923, 1:23] (link)
Post Much Earlier This Christmas (due to war conditions) [1940, 2:21] (link)
Leave a Forwarding Address When You Move [1941, 1:32] (link)
Mail Letters and Packages Early for Christmas [1941, 1:21] (link)
Post Early for Christmas [1942, 0:31] (link)
Proper Procedure For Addressing Envelopes [1942, 1:25] (link)
War Bond Savings [1943, 1:25] (link)
Post Haste - Post Early for Christmas [1945, 1:25] (link)
Post Early for Christmas (animated) [1947, 0:57] (link)
Buy Stamps In Books [1948, 0:59] (link)
Use the Correctly Priced Stamp [1948, 1:02] (link)
Female Telephone Operators Recruiting Film [1948, 0:58] (link)
Encouraging People to Clearly and Correctly Address Letters [1948, 0:59] (link)
Postman Nightmare - Post Early for Christmas [1948, 1:00] (link)
Address and Pack Parcels Correctly [1948, 1:02] (link)
Address Letters Correctly (animated) [1949, 0:57] (link)
Wrap Parcels Correctly [1949, 0:52] (link)
Save Through the Post Office Savings Bank [1949, 0:58] (link)
Put the Correct Postage Stamps On! [1950, 0:56] (link)
Better Save Than Sorry (Post Office Savings Bank) [1950, 1:02] (link)
Post Early for Christmas (animated) [1950, 0:58] (link)

Postal Newsreels

Sir Herbert Samuel MP inspects Post Office Rifles [c.1915, 0:55] (link)
GPO handling 110,000 parcels daily (Mount Pleasant) [1922, 1:30] (link)
Telegram typed on teleprinter in London and printed out in Edinburgh [1932, 1:46] (link)
GPO first aeroplane 'Royal Mail' service, to Ottawa Conference [1932, 0:49] (link)
GPO demo to schoolboys: how telegrams sent, mail collected by train [1932, 2:38] (link)
Prince of Wales and PMG visit GPO exhibit at Ideal Home Exhibition [1932, 0:53] (link)
PO Training School Dollis Hill: engineers performing tests on telephones [1932, 3:05] (link)
Ramsay MacDonald opens GPO Telephone Research Station London [1933, 2:19] (link)
PMG shows off new cheaper system for telephones [1933, 1:59] (link)
Reducing air mail fees from 20 to 2 speeds up Empire Mail [1934, 1:08] (link)
Aeroplane taking airmail on new link to Australia [1934, 1:29] (link)
PMG presents the first air mail pennant to Sir Eric Geddes [1934, 1:33] (link)
Miss E.W.Cain becomes first voice of the Talking Clock [1935, 1:09] (link)
PMG launches the first mobile post office, London [1936, 1:18] (link)
Post Early for Christmas: mail sets off on journey to Tristan Da Cunha [1936, 0:53] (link)
Church in Margate used as post office whilst real one is being refurbished [1937, 0:31] (link)
Trainees at Bristol post office school see how kiosks and overhead cables erected [1937, 2:14] (link)
Christmas parcel rush Paddington Station [1937, 1:08] (link)
Post Early 1937 Lord Mayor encourages Londoners to post Christmas mail early [1937, 1:00] (link)
Air Minister inaugurates new airmail service to Australia and New Zealand [1938, 1:11] (link)
Centenary celebrations of Railway Post Offices [1938, 1:31] (link)
Language of Stamps: using stamp position to send messages [1940, 2:05] (link)
Primary school children in school 'post office', Gateshead [1944, 1:33] (link)
Workers at Mount Pleasant try to repack parcels which have come apart [1946, 1:00] (link)
Operation of the GPO underground railway [1948, 1:34] (link)
Postal system's new helicopter delivers mail to countryside [1948, 0:30] (link)
Mail delivered from Cornish mainland to Scilly Isles by boat [1948, 1:32] (link)
Elderly rural postwoman Ethel Carter has just received an MBE [1948, 1:02] (link)
Post Office inside a pub in Rotherhithe, Surrey [1949, 1:11] (link)
17th century Italian paintings adorn post office in Henley, Oxon [1950, 0:41] (link)
Reverend Parkhouse and wife run a sub-post office from the vicarage in Elsted, Surrey [1953, 1:15] (link)
Reverend Wilfred Howarth 'driven by hardship' to work as a postman [1953, 2:37] (link)
Tests in a soundproof room at the Post Office Engineering Research Station [1953, 1:07] (link)
New inventions of PO Research Department: letter sorting machine and speech synthesiser [1956, 2:06] (link)
Exhibit at Bruce Castle Museum charts the history of the Postman [1956, 2:19] (link)
Postman serves communities around Loch Lomond using his boat [1956, 3:41] (link)
Dartmoor Postman delivers mail on horseback [1957, 2:35] (link)
PMG explains the recent rise in postal charges [1957, 1:09] (link)
Artworks commissioned by GPO for posters and telegrams [1959, 3:02] (link)
'ELSIE' sorting machine at Borough, London, and bad addressing [1960, 2:01] (link)
Telegraph Pole Planter machine, Bletchley, Bucks [1965, 2:13] (link)
Harold Wilson and Tony Benn at opening of Post Office Tower [1965, 1:53] (link)
Engineers at work in tunnel under the Post Office Tower [1967, 1:04] (link)
PMG launches Postal Fortnight and visits Norwich sorting office [1967, 1:29] (link)
GPO Training Bletchley: workers show off new equipment [1968, 1:23] (link)
Broken parcels at 'Heartbreak Corner', Mount Pleasant [1970, 0:37] (link)
Rowland Hill commemoration: London to Edinburgh stagecoach [1979, 0:58] (link)

Postal Operations

How mail is transported and sorted on a train [1930, 2:36] (link)
Young people employed at Slough post office over Christmas [1942, 1:25] (link)
Footage of bombed sorting office at Mount Pleasant, London [1943, 3:11] (link)
Handling Christmas parcels that have come undone [1946, 4:28] (link)
Royal Mail goes by helicopter, Mudford, Somerset [1948, 2:40] (link)
New Automatic Letter Sorter in Norwich using postcodes [1959, 1:00] (link)
Europe's most highly mechanised parcel sorting office opened, Leeds [1959, 1:51] (link)
Push-button parcel sorting (additional Leeds footage) [1959, 2:09] (link)
New sorting office, Southampton (opening, operation of machinery) [1966, 4:18] (link)
Council House Post Office - Manning Heath, Horsham, Sussex [1967, 0:41] (link)
New computer system in action at National Giro Bank in Liverpool [1968, 7:03] (link)
GPO Telegraph building automatic telegraph exchange [1968, 1:20] (link)
PMG visits GPO to see how Christmas mail is sorted [1968, 4:09] (link)
Inflatable plastic "igloo" to speed flow of Christmas mail [1970, 1:30] (link)
Damaged Christmas parcels in a postal sorting office [1970, 3:19] (link)
Post Office switchboard with telephone girls at work [1971, 4:35] (link)
Last day of preparation before decimalisation [1971, 1:03] (link)

Industrial Disputes

"Work to Rule": big pile-up of mail "grave concern" [1962, 0:49] (link)
"Work To Rule", second week: 2½m letters held up in London [1962, 1:08] (link)
"Work to Rule": surprise peace-move offer and People's League [1962, 1:07] (link)
One-day strike expected: emergency mail plans prepared [1964, 1:20] (link)
Mail piles up in London as union meets government [1964, 1:06] (link)
Postal workers strike over loss in overtime pay, rally in Hyde Park [1969, 01:22] (link)
Lord Hall speaks after dismissal as PO Chairman, workers walk out in protest [1970, 01:55] (link)
Strike threatens to cut postal and telephone services [1971, 2:40] (link)
British Post Office goes on strike, scenes of unopened mail etc [1971, 1:31] (link)
Scenes before and during strike, switchboard operators at work etc [1971, 3:23] (link)
Mount Pleasant during GPO strike, unopened mail sacks [1971, 6:22] (link)
Post Office workers at mass meeting during the strike [1971, 5:56] (link)
Britons improvise ways to beat the postal strike ("pirate posts") [1971, 1:35] (link)
Lord Lichfield's "pirate post" ("Rickshaw") in operation [1971, 1:19] (link)
Postal workers go back after 47-day national strike [1971, 1:06] (link)

Military Mail

Footage of BEF Army Post Office and advice on sending mail [1939, 2:20] (link)
Men of the Signal Corps work to repair damage to telephone wires [1940, 0:44] (link)
A British Army Field Post Office at work [1940, 3:56] (link)
Mail arriving and soldiers reading mail from home in the desert [1941, 2:08] (link)
Airgraph Letters: new system delivers mail from soldiers in Middle East faster [1941, 1:11] (link)
American Army Post Office distributes mail to GIs in Northern Ireland [1942, 0:54] (link)
How Christmas cards and Airgraphs find their way home from Italy [1943, 1:23] (link)
Mail being sorted at Army Post Office in Nottingham [1944, 3:49] (link)