19th Century Strangford postman photograph ‘delivered’ to PRONI

Date published: 02 June 2016

To celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Royal Mail, PRONI’s June document of the month is a photograph of a postman from Strangford, Co. Down known as ‘Old maCartan’ dating from the 1890s.

Old maCartan

The photograph is from a collection known as the Eva Chichester papers which capture and document Eva’s travels in the British Isles and Europe from the late-19th century. Eva was a Sunday school teacher who lived in Newcastle, Co. Down. She travelled widely and had a real passion for photography and an eye for everyday life and landscape.

Brett Irwin, PRONI, who selected the document said: “The quality of some of the photographs in the collection taken by Eva and fellow amateur photographers is stunning. I find this image fascinating as it tells us so much about the life of a postman from the late 1800s The dirty jacket, ripped trousers’, the weather-beaten face, the hat and the bugle all indicate a tough job outdoors in wind, rain or shine.  It is fabulous that the image ties in with the 500th anniversary of the establishment of the Royal Mail and demonstrates that this is as every bit essential and valued today as it was many years ago”.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The ‘Old maCartan’ image can be viewed in the PRONI reading room under the reference number D4563/1/7/9. It can also be viewed on the PRONI flickr site. 
  2. The Eva Chichester papers are available in PRONI under the catalogue reference number D4563
  3. Media enquires should be addressed to the Department for Communities Press Office 028 9082 9267 or email press.office@communities-ni.gov.uk For out of office hours, please contact the duty press officer via pager number  07699 715440 and your call will be returned

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