Monday, 18 April 2011

a letter to Great Britain's furthest address

In the days of the Royal Mail monopoly, in response to a challenge from alternative service providers, the RM always pointed out that they would deliver a letter anywhere in the UK for a single price. And today I have posted a letter to the most distant address from home, to Cape Wrath lighthouse. That's some kind of milestone in my life, as well as being a brown envelope with a stamp on it.

The lighthouse is at the extreme north west corner of the island of Great Britain. It is eleven miles from the nearest public road, and my letter will have to travel on a foot ferry to get onto their access track. There's no road name, or any houses, but the area is called "the Parph", a happy coincidence in that it is Essex language for "path".

I have written to the owners, the Ures, who also run a cafe at this remote spot, and explained to them about my quest for Fred Slattern to become Britain's most north-west poet. I sent them a Fred Slattern poster, as I'm sure the people of Sutherland will love to hear Fred's "message from essex". Their "Ozone Cafe" at the lighthouse never closes, not that they get much passing trade, being at the end of an isolated cul-de-sac with a 600 foot drop to the sea, ten yards further on.

Fred will be there for lunch and a recital at lunchtime on 16 May. I'm sure his many followers will drop in to say hi. And I'll give the Post Office a bit more time than the usual next-day delivery for first class letters.


  1. Ooh - nice one. A risky gig - should you get thrown out {with any exuberance anyway} - with the last drop so close by. I'm sure it will go well.

    If they get the letter at all that is.......

  2. Fred Slattern a flasher? Three seconds in the dark, then a quick flash.



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