A greetings telegram

In the days before emails, WhatsApp and other such methods of almost instant communication, the telegram enabled people to send important news within a few hours. The knock on the door by a uniformed telegraph boy bearing a little white telegram with a few words printed on it, would have alarmed the recipient, especially in wartime, as the message might have contained bad news. (The telegram service was finally discontinued in 1982.)

However, there were also greetings telegrams and we have one of these in Market Lavington Museum.

This one was delivered to the School House, tucked away behind the Old School and next to St Mary’s Churchyard in Market Lavington. In its gold envelope, it wouldn’t have looked worrying. Indeed, it was addressed to Mr and Mrs Bert Shore on the occasion of their wartime marriage in 1940. The GPO on the envelope stood for General Post Office.

Florrie Burbidge grew up in that cottage, which now houses our museum, and her parents continued to live there after both their daughters had married and left home.

This greetings telegram delivered congratulations from Margery, who married Bert Shore’s younger brother. They then lived in Fleet, in Hampshire.

If you look at the previous blog post, about Florrie and Bert’s wedding cards, you will find clickable links to more information on the Burbidge family and the School House.

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