Thursday, 7 December 2017

Delivering the post by pony

A different kind of pony transport was commemorated by Dr Helen Blackman, Exmoor Society archivist, who is researching the old postal routes across Exmoor. Helen and Pony Centre volunteer, Lisa Clarke, mounted on the Pony Centre’s Fudge and Abbi, re-rode the 12 mile postal route from Withypool post office

via Kiteridge Lane 
Lisa on Abbi and Helen on Fudge

and Landacre where the ponies enjoyed a short breather while cooling their feet in the Barle. 

Helen handed Tony Howard a letter outside the post office where he has been postmaster for the past 20 years. 

Until the 1970s the post was routinely delivered on foot or horseback over distances of up to 15 miles. Using maps and material from the Society’s Dulverton Resource Centre, the Society is piecing together the history of the postal service on Exmoor. Helen said “…. as a horse rider I’m fascinated by the role horses and ponies have played in bringing news and information across the moor. This is also a wonderful opportunity to work with the Exmoor Pony Centre and highlight how hardy and useful the Exmoor ponies are.”