Film: 6007

Industry + Work | 1940 | Sound | B/W

Synopsis:

An educational film about the Australian postal service. Small number of scenes of Manly beach and streets, Sydney city including Sydney General Post Office and the main street of Bathurst, and several suburban streets in Bathurst, where the mail is posted by a little boy in Manly, then sorted and delivered to his friend in Bathurst. An old steam train, loading and unloading the train with the mail and internal scenes of postal workers.

A uniformed postman walks up a dusty path past houses with picket fences and typical wire and iron front gate, on the outskirts of an Australian country town, in summer, timber power pole with street name "William" is on the corner and the postman blows his whistle as he puts mail in a letter box, and takes more mail from his large canvas satchel that is carried over his shoulder. A close up of the postman, he is wearing a Post Masters Generals (PMG) hat. Hands hold letter addressed to Master John Field 17 William Street Bathers 3W.

Small boy in jumper 1940's style boys shorts long socks and lace up shoes leaves a small weather-board house with built in veranda on one side of the front door which has a fly wire screen door and a cyclone wire and iron gate and wire and timber fence, and walks down the street footpath. Boy crosses the road to the Manly beach with its Norfolk pine trees and picnic tables and ocean in the background and the occasional person walking or sitting. Men in suits and women in hats in the street as the boy walks along the Manly promenade, there are some early high rise buildings and a cliff to the sea in the background.

The boy walks into the art deco style Manly Post Office, past people. In street. The boy is seen through the door of the post office entering the door, and the street and old cars are briefly visible. A man in a cardigan behind the counter looks up and greets the boy. The little boy passes over his money. The post office clerk opens his stamp book and flicks through the pages. The clerk passes a stamp to the boy. The boy wets the stamp on a damp song which is on the counter of the post office in a glass dish, thumps it with his clench fist and moves away form the counter. He leaves through the double heavy glass and timber doors. The boy walks from the post office door and along the footpath towards the post office exterior wall that has many private letter boxes, and the letter boxes for posting mail, which include the Sydney mail clearing times. The boy post his letter in the slot and peers in, them walks away.

The back of the letter boxes are seen from within the post office and an employee approaches with a cane basket and opens the cupboard type doors that expose all the posted mail. The letter to John Field is held up. The sorter collects all the letters and places them in the basket, and closes the doors. A young clerk is seen feeding letters into the Manly postmarking machine, another staff member is in the background working. There is a close up of the franking machine and a hand takes out some of the post marked letters. Johns letter is held up now post marked.

An staff member is tying up bundles of letters and placing hem in a large canvas mail bag of which he ties the top. The face of the young mail worker is shown. He ties the string around the top of the mail bag and camps the metal seal. Two post office workers carry two mail bags into the back lane where the uniformed post office van driver overseas the loading of the mail bags and makes notes in a note book, he closes the vans back doors and is seen walking to the front of the van. The van pulls out of the lane beside the white art deco Manly Post office building.

The van is driven up a steep slope with tree and vegetation and the sea as the backdrop in north shore suburban Sydney. The van is in traffic which includes a double deck bus and old car on the Sydney harbour bridge. The exterior of the Sydney General Post Office is seen from the opposite corner, with other old Victorian buildings and people and cars and trucks in the smart city. PMG vans and open tray trucks pull into the lane beside the GPO and people and cars are in the street, including suited men carrying Gladstone bags. There is view of the Sydney GPO in detail.

A moving belt carries bags of mail and these are removed at a point by a female mail worker. Another woman mail sorter is seen with a knife, a man brings her a bag of mail of which she cuts the sting around the top and he tips all the mail out of the bag into a large bin in front of her. A male employee is going through a pile of mail and placing it into different wooden pigeon holes. There is a close up of his face. Three letters are seen, one to Grefell, one to Orange, both with the post mark over the stamp "Road Carelessness Kills" and the letter to John in Bathurst. The post office sorter places it in the Bathurst city pigeon hole. A pile of tied up letters is put into one of the many named bags, in this case the Bathurst one. The bag is taken from its metal stand and tied at the top with string and sealed and carries a metal tag on which Bathurst is written.

A night time scene of a steam train engine blowing steam but stationary at a city station platform. Men are seen loading the mail van of the train from along timber rail hand cart. The mail barrow moves away and the van is seen to be piled with full mail bags, the train conductor closes the mail carriage door. The station master is seen blowing his whistle and waving his flag in the night light, and the puffing steam engine pulls away from the platform.

John is sleeping in his bed. The Bathurst station sign is seen in daylight. The old-style but polished steam engine pulls into Bathurst, followed by the shiny coal van, elegant first-class passenger carriages. A railway employee in an apron is pulling open the door of the mail carriage, and he unloads the mail bags onto a wooden wagon.

The original postman is seen in the Bathurst Post Office sorting mail. There is a close up of John's letter. The postman ties the sorted letters into bundles. There is a close up of the postman's face. He puts the bundles into his canvas bag, puts his postman's cap on and picks up his large canvas satchel. The postman leaves the modern Bathurst Post Office building by the front door. He crosses the street and the park opposite, there are women walking in the park, one is pushing a pram, and the Royal Hotel and other buildings in the main street of Bathurst are visible.

The postman walks up the path to the boys street, a repetition of the opening scene, and turns the corner into William Street. The postman chats to a painter painting a front fence, and the wide suburban street is visible in the background. The postman passes mail to a woman who walks down her front path to meet him. A boy runs around the side of his house. The postman walks down the footpath beside an old high picket fence. The postman passes a letter to the boy who is leaning over his front gate. The boy opens the letter as he walks back up his front path t his house, he wears a jumper and shorts and long socks and lace up shoes and has short hair. There is a back view of the postman walking down the suburban footpath delivering mail and blowing his whistle.


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