Taunton 'could do better' in PG Wodehouse letter test

Reporter Dan Milligan tests out PG Wodehouse's letter posting technique. PHOTO: Geoff Hall.

Reporter Dan Milligan tests out PG Wodehouse's letter posting technique. PHOTO: Geoff Hall.

First published in News This is The West Country: Photograph of the Author by

PG WODEHOUSE might have been a little disheartened with the people of Taunton.

The great comic novelist - the author of the Bertie Wooster and Jeeves books - is famously reputed never to have bothered to post his letters.

He would stamp and address the envelope and toss them from his window, reasoning that the people of Britain were honest and public-spirited enough to pick them up and pop them in a post box.

The author wrote: “Someone always picks it up and it saves me going down four flights of stairs every time I want to mail a letter.”

The County Gazette has tested his theory and Taunton may have just scraped past the Wodehouse test.

Eighteen letters were stamped and addressed to our offices in St James' Street and left in locations around Taunton town centre last Thursday morning.

They weren't dropped randomly - we don't want to litter - but put in places where people might have forgotten them; phone boxes, banks, the bus station waiting rooms, clothes stores, and on café and pub tables.

This is The West Country:

Eight, that's 44%, have been posted and delivered back to us.

One letter, which was dropped in Greggs in North Street, was put through our letterbox overnight on Thursday and four letters came on Friday morning. Three more letters arrived on Monday morning.

Taunton Deane MP Jeremy Browne said: “Taunton Deane has a fantastic civic culture and 8/18 is not bad but we could do better.”

Mayor Libby Lisgo added: “It was a good experiment and anybody who took the two minutes to pick it up and put it in the post box - well done to you.”

Letters were dropped off in venues including Cosy Club, Brendon Books, TK Maxx, County Stores, the post office in North Street and the phone box close to Lloyds Bank.

Would you ignore a lost letter or post it yourself? Let us know the reasons behind your decision below.

Comments (1)

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1:48pm Sat 18 Jan 14

Dr Dave says...

I'd definitely pick it up and post it - it's common courtesy, surely?
I'd definitely pick it up and post it - it's common courtesy, surely? Dr Dave
  • Score: 2

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