Elsie Rowson was the last post woman to deliver on foot to cottages on the Stiperstones. Her round of 11.5 miles took her over 4 hours every day except Sunday’s and in all weathers. Elsie wore a regulation uniform and carried a bag which could hold as much as 35 pounds (16Kg). You can follow Elsie’s Walk from the linked map.
“I had lovely walks over the hills, sometimes the valleys were filled with mist and the tops were clear, it looked like you could walk right across them. In late summer the view was a patchwork quilt with oil seed rape, golden corn, green fields and brown earth”
On the 30th June 1958 after one day’s training from the retiring postman, George Lewis, Elsie Rowson delivered her first letters. She remembered a baby boy being born on this day at the Red Ball. She walked the round for twelve and a half years and would say it was the best job of her life. She watched her round get shorter as one by one the cottagers on the Stiperstones who had no electric or piped water left the hill. She walked in all weathers in a standard uniform over rough ground and rocky paths. She carried lead acid batteries for radios. She delivered a hundredweight of bird seed spread over 5 days in 22lb bags. One lady was once sent nine Gratton’s Catalogues in the post (and another 3 by delivery). She would return down the road from the Central Stores with shopping for her neighbours and she would often take a cake she had baked for Nurse Williams. She worked on Christmas day unless it fell on Sunday and would never have got home had she accepted all the drinks offered to her. She did try a glass of champagne once but was not impressed. On New Years Day one householder would always meet her down the path as it was unlucky for a lady to visit before noon. She was the last to walk this round, land rover deliveries taking over to isolated houses. We hope you enjoy retracing Elsie’s steps.