In 1919 the Histon Parish Council started pressing for a later collection of its mail. At that time the last collection was at 7pm and the suggestion was made that the last bus back from Cottenham to Cambridge should convey the Histon mail to Cambridge. Nothing came of this but then in 1933, at the request of the Postmaster General, a scheme which had been first used at Huddersfield in 1893 was introduced. The idea of attaching a letter box to tramcars and buses had first been thought of around 1899 and in the next twenty years after the Huddersfield scheme it was used in many regions, usually larger areas. Histon and Cottenham were the only Cambridgeshire villages to benefit from the scheme.

The post bus was introuduced in the late summer of 1933 on the 104 Eastern Counties route. The letterbox was brought daily from the Cambridge Head Post Office and then locked to the bus which left Cambridge for Cottenham at about 6.30pm. The box was available for posting of mail on the return journey that left Cottenham at 8.15pm. When the bus arrived at the bus station in Drummer Street at 8.50pm a post office official met it and unlocked the box and then took it to the sorting office. The postal authorities promised that letters which were posted in the box, which was available every day of the week except Sundays and Bank Hollidays, would catch the regular mail routes and would normally be delivered by the first post the next day in any part of England. One of the drivers on the route was Mr F J Saintey who had joined the Eastern Counties Bus Company in July 1933 and drove the route for many years. Two buses operated on the route in 1933: a single decker A.T. 76 and a double decker A 177. The letter box could be attached to either of them. There is no record of when the service was removed but it is believed that it only lasted a few years.


Learn more about the postal services of Histon & Impington by buying a copy of 'Sent By Mail - The Story of Histon and Impington's Post'. Published by the Histon & Impington Village Society, it is available from the Histon Library.