21 June 2016
Submit your family letters to Royal Mail's 'Letters of our Lives' project
Family historians are being asked to search in their attics, albums and archives for letters that could reveal more about our shared history.
Royal Mail’s ‘Letters of our Lives’ project coincides with the 500th anniversary of the knighting of Brian Tuke, the first Master of the Posts, said to be the catalyst for the founding of a postal service. Royal Mail is asking people to unearth letters or postcards that give a personal account of life in the UK, from centuries ago to the present day. Any handwritten letter or postcard can be submitted to the project, and examples will be published online at www.royalmailgroup.com/lettersofourlives.
Lucy Worsley (pictured), TV historian and Chief Curator Historic Royal Palaces, will be reading all the letters. She said: ‘Lots of the nationally important documents in our archives up and down Britain relate to nationally important events, like the Industrial Revolution or the abolition of slavery. But often legal or official documents miss out the human stories, how people were feeling about the great issues of the day. That’s something you get best from personal letters. I can’t wait to read all the letters and postcards, and to share in the pride of the families who’ve found a story to tell us. I’m champing at the bit to start piecing together a hidden social history of our country.’
David Gold, head of public affairs at Royal Mail, said: ‘There are few historical texts that are as compelling to read as personal letters. The idea for this campaign really came to life when a member of the team found a letter from their grandfather, who aged 17 fought aboard HMS Iron Duke during the First World War. Personal letters come from the heart and as a result, often tell us details that aren’t included in official documents. Our hope is that the letters and postcards people find will help us build a picture of how life really was for communities throughout the ages – warts and all!’
To submit a letter or postcard visit the website, letters.royalmailgroup.com.