The Little Post Office That Could

Hakai Magazine has the story.

When Britain dubbed Herm Island too tiny to merit a post office, the islanders found a way to get that problem licked.

Published June 15, 2015

Postage stamps are lessons in history, politics, science, or geography packed onto a small piece of gummed paper. They’re also beautiful works of art. In Stamped we’re going coastal, with postal.

You know an island is small when it bans bicycles, its only hotel shuns clocks, and it created its own postage stamps after Britain’s General Post Office found that servicing the island wasn’t economical.

Herm Island, in the Bailiwick of Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands off the coast of Normandy, is two and a half kilometers long and just under a kilometer wide. Still, a steady stream of inhabitants has called it home, from sixth-century monks to today’s 60-odd residents. Grassy and idyllic with white sand beaches, reaching Herm takes a combination of planes, ferries, and taxis.

Herm’s isolation is perfect for those seeking solitude, but, in the past, this made communication with the rest of the world challenging. Britain opened a sub-post office on Herm in 1925 and while the cost of running the post office was relatively low—after all, it was only open for half an hour a day—its British government overseers deemed it unproductive and closed the office in 1938.

Read the full story at Hakai Magazine.

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