Queen Victoria would not have been amused by the news that Hitchin has lost its sorting office. There has been a Royal Mail sorting office in the town since 1860 and, when the mail was moved by steam train, Hitchin workers played a major role in the travelling sorting office - the Night Mail, made famous in WH Auden's poem of the same name.
Night MailWe've already lost our regular postie-onna-bike, Colin, who we knew well and the post arrives by van - no-time-to-stop-and-chat woman. Admittedly it's regular, always appearing between 12noon and 1pm. Early fears of having to travel a considerable distance to the sorting office in Stevenage for undelivered parcels have proved unfounded. There is a local arrangement with the main Post Office counters in the town, not too far from the now-defunct sorting office. But the link with the town has been severed and we feel at the mercy of the larger Stevenage Borough sorting office.
We will not miss the ugly collection of buildings that was the sorting office overlooking the riverside market area but wait with bated breath to see what replaces it.