Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Market Harborough

After a very late night yesterday; and an even later blog post; much of today was spent purchasing and carrying essential food supplies back to Waiouru.  There has also been time to reflect upon events from yesterday.  We think generally the day with our visitors went well.  The two meals (lunch and dinner) were very good.  Jan and I both enjoyed the fish pie at the Foxton Inn and the meal in Market Harborough last night at the Three Swans was excellent.  The customer service at both locations was also good.

I made an enquiry about the cost of casual moorings in the basin and was informed it cost £10 per day, which included electricity.  We are currently on the 48 hour moorings just outside the basin and have decided not to go into the basin and pay for the shore power.

We used the camera in the smartphone to take photos today and these were downloaded to the laptop at the end of the day before being deleted from the photo.  I now discover only one photo downloaded and the remainder can’t be retrieved!  The most noticeable building in the centre of the town is The Old Grammar School

Apparently it was built on stilts in 1614 so the butter market could continue to be held.  The money for the school was donated by Robert Smyth who was from Market Harborough but went on to become the accounting and financial manager of the London Lord Mayors Court.  The school sent a number of its students on to Cambridge and Oxford.  Two of the most notable are John Moore who went on to be the bishop of Norwich and Ely.  In the 20th century William Bragg and his son were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for physics in recognition of their work into the analysis of crystal structures.  Interestingly, there is a connection to Adelaide, South Australia.  William Bragg spent 23 years teaching at Adelaide University.

The sole negative for the day was my failure to establish where we might be able to take delivery of some mail we’d like sent Post Restante.  I phoned two post offices who stated they didn’t accept the mail and a third didn’t answer the call.  I then attempted to call the principal post office in Leicester on a “pay” number only to get the standard government run-around through their automated system.  After repeatedly being directed to the website the call was eventually terminated (by them) after the canned voice told me all the operators were busy.  Then I tried to find an email address on their website.  I don’t know who designed the website but I do hope he/she wasn’t paid very much for their effort.  It’s awful.  Eventually I found a contact form but… of course….. the 4 fields relating to an address were mandatory.  We don’t have an address! Sad smile  All I want is a list of post offices who accept post restante mail…… You’d think that wouldn’t be too hard.  Try finding it on the website.


clint said...

It's supposed to be the information age...
Our daughter rang us in NZ from a train in Wales on her way to Ireland, she had suddenly wondered if she needed her passport.
Trying to find the answer was a nightmare. Different websites had different info, contact details were difficult to find and the only number I could get let to nowhere. What fun.
Enjoy the summer :)

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Clint,
The greatest difficulties appear to be with government departments. Commercial organisations need a good and informative website.

Carol Palin said...

Hi Tom,
As we understand it Post Restante is an ‘extra’ service that post offices can offer, or not, as the post master/mistress decides.
We have occasionally tried to have post delivered to the ‘bigger’ PO’s but as you say it’s ‘difficult’ and twice our post had ‘gone missing’ so now we always stick to PO’s in villages along our route and always ring them first to ensure all is ok.
We’ve created our own list of of PO’s that are happy to provide this service - but we still ring them first to check that nothing has changed.

Elly and Mick said...

Tom, I was told that it's a service that should be offered by all post offices. The reason some might not want to allow it is because of lack of storage space. I've used this service many times now. I just ring the post office to check that they'll accept the envelope or parcel or whatever. I think they'd be happier to accept a parcel if they know you'll be there to get it soon. Stone post office was fantastic and we even ordered stuff from Amazon and had it sent there.
I'd also stick with smaller post offices in villages etc. We've just had an envelope sent to Edgware Rd in London and after 6 days it hasn't arrived.... so they say anyway.

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Elly,
What they "should do" and what they "actually do" are two different things. I have yet to find a small local post office that will offer a post restante service. However we are OK with Market Harborough PO.