Sir Rowland Hill KCB, FRS (3 December 1795 – 27 August 1879) was an English teacher, inventor and social reformer. He campaigned for a comprehensive reform of the postal system, based on the concept of Uniform Penny Post and his solution of prepayment, facilitating the safe, speedy and cheap transfer of letters. Hill later served as a government postal official, and he is usually credited with originating the basic concepts of the modern postal service, including the invention of the postage stamp.
Kidderminster isn’t famous for too many things other than the carpet industry but over the years an extraordinary amount of musical and artistic talents has emerged from the area such as Robert Plant, Clifford T. Ward and Duran Duran.
Maybe Sir Rowland Hill, who was born and raised on Blackwell Street in the town centre is a relative unknown outside of the town itself. He is credited with inventing the modern postal service which surely, along with his reasons for doing so, is something to celebrate, share and inspire letter writing now and in the future. He was passionate about education, poetry and letter writing and believed that everyone should have access to a service that enabled people to communicate with other.
In his day the postal service was as important development in the art of communication as the invention of email and text messaging is to contemporary society.The poetry postman is a way of raising the profile of letter writing and reminding the world that writing a letter or a card is a very different exercise to sending an email or text.
It is a creative act of courage and it shows that you really value the person you are taking the time to write to, its a beautiful thing that we are at risk of losing. Taking a pen and letting what you really feel and think flow down your arm on to the page in your own unique handwriting is an expression of who you are, you are sharing something of yourself with the recipient and the person receiving the letter or card from you is nearly always delighted to receive it.
Think about Rowland Hill’s vision, that everyone, regardless of culture, creed or class should be able to write and send a letter to whoever they want anywhere in the world and think of who you would like to send a few words to, then go on, be brave and write to them…….and then see what happens!