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The Kingston Bagpuize Telegraph Operator.

Research Jill Muir

In the 1900s the Kingston Bagpuize Post Office would have had a means to send and receive telegrams, which was very popular before the telephone became almost a necessity, in our homes. Reading 'The History of Southmoor Methodist Chapel' by Jan Kelly, I was interested to see that Miles Drew and his wife Eva Broughton lived in the Corner House, Kingston Bagpuize and kept a Grocer's shop there. Eva had been the official Telegraph Receiver for Kingston, so where did she type out her Morse code, at the Corner House or did she work for the Jefferies family?

Kingston Bagpuize telegraph poles

Brand new Telegraph poles in Kingston Bagpuize.

Browsing the net, I recalled how my own mother used to tell us about her post office work days, which included sending and receiving telegrams in her uncle's Post Office in South Wales.

Telegraph messages sent by telegraph operator (or telegrapher) using Morse code were known as a telegram or cablegram, often shortened to a cable or a wire message. Later, a telegram sent by the Telex network, a switched network of teleprinters similar to the telephone network, were known as a telex message.

Before long distance telephone services were readily available or affordable, telegram services were very popular. Telegrams were often used to confirm business dealings and, unlike email, telegrams were commonly used to create binding legal documents for business dealings.

Source: The British Postal Museum & Archive and The Free Dictionary

See more about a telegram.

More on Telegraphy and its history.

Telegraph machine            

Telegraph machine - Source The Science Museum