5 DECEMBER 1952, Page 24

Cheerful Postmen

When I was a boy, it was often my task to go down from the farm to the "public" road to pick up the newspaper of the day before together with the mail. The letters were brought by a red-faced little postman, who travelled round the country on a bicycle. He did this summer and winter, rain, hail and shine, and he was never without the cheeriest smile. To meet him, no matter what the weather, was to be uplifted, encouraged, warmed. It is an odd thing that men who do such work often have a bright disposition. I have met two such postmen in the country behind the village. One is a disabled man. He swings along the road with his bag and is invariably cheerful. The other has no disability, but has a: long uphill struggle to take letters to outlying places. His smile is there before one reaches him, and he reminds me of the foot-travellers I encountered on the road in remote place when cars were almost as rare as horses are now.