Local post is a type of postal service which pre-dates the governmental service we are used to today. Local posts were usually conducted by private mail delivery companies to fill a void in mail service often caused by inaccessibility or unreliable delivery services.
There have been a great many local posts over the past 150 years, both in this country and in Europe. Some have been conducted for profit as a business, others were developed as non-profit services connected to specific businesses. For example, until the expansion of the railroad system in the European Alps at the beginning of the 20th Century, Swiss
hotels and spas frequently provided a local post service for their guests to en-sure regular mail delivery between the hotel and the nearest postal location. Carriers walked in the summer months and skied in the snow season.
HOLMES & LOCAL POST
It is extremely likely that Holmes availed himself of these services since we know that he spent time in these areas before they became fully accessible to mail delivery. Very probably local post services would have been an integral part of Holmes's correspondence with his brother, Mycroft, during the hiatus. Any correspondence sent via balloon, packet boat, pigeon, ferry or river boat, dog team, mail coach, skis or sled frequently was handled by a local post. When we consider some of the remote locations he visited (remember, Victorian standards of remote were different from ours), it isn't difficult to imagine that local post was necessary to his maintaining contact with the events back in London as well as receiving financial assistance via his brother.
OUR LOCAL POST
In the tradition of the Victorian local post services, we have established a local post of the variety known as "Hotel Post". For a small sum, adhesive stamps may be purchased in groups of four, which will ensure your letter will be delivered to any guest in the hotel or transported to a regular mail pick-up point for delivery to more distant points. A single stamp should be affixed to the front of the envelope, in the lower left quadrant. Since this service is provided only for the duration of this event, a special commemorative cancellation will provide confirmation that the letter was, in fact, delivered via the Wigmore Street Post Office.
The Postmistress, Linda Crane, A.S.H., is a Sherlockian, an artist, and a philatelist. The Wigmore Street Post Office appears only for Sherlockian events and only on an irregular schedule. The hours vary, so please check your schedule for pick-up times.