STOP PRESS: It takes 11 days for a mailed letter to travel one kilometre

TURNING BACK THE CLOCK: Pigeons played a critical part in the first and second World Wars delivering military messages in times of radio silence.
TURNING BACK THE CLOCK: Pigeons played a critical part in the first and second World Wars delivering military messages in times of radio silence.

It would be great to turn back the clock and restore the Travelling Post Office vans – known as TPOs – on trains, with 74 specially-selected mail workers sorting letters along the way.

In fact, nearly half the mail handled by post offices was sorted in the vans as the express trains steamed through the night.

When Orange had trains you could mail a letter to Sydney at the railway station up to midnight and it would be delivered the next morning.

But turn the clock forward to today and what have we got? 

A terrible service with a dollar to post a letter and up to seven days for it to be delivered or $1.50 if you want it to arrive in three or four days.

A letter posted at Orange East Post Office for an Orange Post Office box was delivered 11 days later. 

Another local letter arrived four days after it was posted, while one sent to Spring Hill took three days to get there.

And with Christmas coming, things will get worse for people who still post greeting cards.

So the TPOs have long gone but we could always look at Pigeon Post that would be much faster than snail mail.

Pigeons played a critical part in the first and second World Wars delivering military messages in times of radio silence and heading the list was one named William of Orange who was awarded the prestigious Dickin Medal, the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross, for actions of gallantry.

German forces had cut off British and Polish troops trying to take a bridge in the Dutch town of Arnhem and their radio communications had failed.

They were in desperate need of airborne support so they attached a message to William of Orange’s leg and he flew in darkness the 400 kilometres back to his loft in Knutsford, Cheshire, in an amazing four hours, 25 minutes.

Compare that with 11 days from Orange East to Orange CBD.

So why is it all so difficult to deliver a bloody letter? It’s called modern technology. Let’s bring back a pigeon or two or the TPO.

GIVING HOONS A SPRAY AT THE TIME OF OFFENCE

HOONS have again been busy leaving lots of long strips of rubber everywhere on Orange streets as they do noisy late-night doughnuts and burnouts in their rust-bucket cars.

They’re a dangerous annoyance we can do without and should be caught and dealt with by police, who can suspend a driver’s licence on the spot for a burnout or street racing. There’s also an $1100 fine.

The same penalties can apply to passengers who willingly take part or take photographs of hoon activity.

Unless people see them, these idiots are hard to catch but hoon drivers are being stopped in their tracks in parts of Melbourne’s north under a new initiative that’s shredding their tyres.

Victoria Police and Hume Council have put down a new technology spray-on coarse seal on several road surfaces identified by police as hoon hot spots to deter dangerous driving.

The surface makes it difficult for a driver to spin the wheels but if he does, the surface spray can burn the rubber off the tyres and destroy them, although motorists who drive normally aren’t affected by the anti-hoon surface.

We need something like that here because the cops never seem to catch anyone doing burnouts.