Issue Date: 04/11/2014
Issue Name: Christmas 2014 Miniature Sheet Cover
Producer: Buckingham Covers
This beautiful cover, designed by Cath, celebrates Christmas and features a traditional Christmas scene by renowned transport artist Malcolm Root. The cover image ' Royal Mail Van' features a Y-model Morris Van, first introduced in 1939.
Royal Mail Van - Malcolm Root 1993
A little snow would never stop the postman doing his rounds, but as you can see it does provide wonderful ammunition for a snowball fight on the way to school. This scene is the flatter countryside of East Anglia. In the author's native Devon the postman, and others, had to put on wheel chains to cope with the many and steep hills when it snowed. Here the postman has already done his first round delivering letters, and is emptying the pillar boxes - in this case a beautiful one set in a brick-arched pillar, at the time that the children are going into school. In those days all the children walked to school, some from several miles away, snow or no snow! The postman was always a good friend to the whole community, and had time to assist a young lady to post her letter. In the author's home village a large boulder about 18-inches high was placed below the pillar-box so that children could climb up to post letters more easily.
Morris supplied all the vans for the Post Office. The van in the picture is a Y-model Morris van, first introduced in 1939 when the Post Office took delivery of two vehicles. By 1945 there were 2000 in service, and most of these were still in use in 1960, a good testimony to their design and reliability. Rated as a 10cwt van, the Y-model was powered by a four-cylinder sidevalve engine rated at l547cc. Drive was through a three-speed gearbox. The vans were not economical on fuel, but then few vehicles would be with the constant stopping and starting. In those days of few vehicles, it looks as though the mail van may have been the only vehicle up and down the road before school time.
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Malcolm Root is a British artist who concentrates on classic transport subjects.