Our reporter Mark Quinn catches up with an avid Post Office memorabilia collector and facilitator of the Manchester Postal Museum.
Have you ever come across a person and thought WOW, what a guy or gal and what a remarkable human being this person is for keeping up with their project or passion?
Well, I have. This is a gentleman who has been exhibiting his treasures for over 34 years – the ever-popular David Harrop.
David has been running the Manchester Postal Museum on his own since 1988 and his aim is to exhibit as much of his collection as possible.
David said: “The post office is rich in history. I have been exhibiting since 1988, I know the public love to see old artefacts.
“It’s such a good feeling being able to travel around and meet so many people and I’m always on the look out for new material. You never know what’s going to turn up!”
David’s passion for the post office has been with him for most of his life; he worked for Royal Mail for 35 years, that in itself needs an award.
David, now 73 is still going strong. Alongside his museum at Southern Cemetery in Manchester, he runs 45 group-pages on Facebook that include local history, war memorials and railways.
I asked David: “How do you keep going and what do you do to relax?”
“I’ve always done the work on my own. You must have the interest and the willpower to sustain the public’s interest, you must go that extra mile. Regarding relaxation, I listen to loud music, get plenty of sleep, do my research and follow sport.”
In the early years David won the Roland Hill Award in 1999 for work in the community when he set up the museum in Wythenshawe Park and he has travelled all over the United Kingdom and the Netherlands with findings.
The postal museum is at Southern Cemetery near to the lodge, but it’s only small and most of the treasures that David collects are in storage that he pays for. It’s not all postal items either, he has many other gems.
His wish is for bigger premises so he can display everything and it will be there for the Manchester public to view for many years to come.
Folk like David Harrop don’t get enough support in my eyes, there are many good and hard-working people out there – not just in Manchester but all over our great land – keeping history alive and keeping the post office alive. So, I say bless each and every one of you.
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