W. Reginald Bray: The Man Who Posted Himself

From Mark Borkowski:

The man who posted himself: The suburban accountant who tested the Royal Mail to its limits, exasperated Hitler and became one of Britain’s greatest pranksters
by David Leafe
19 March 2012

He was a most unlikely prankster, an Edwardian husband and father whose neatly clipped moustache and smart suit gave his neighbours no reason to believe he was anything but a respectable accountant.

In his everyday life, he observed the many rules and regulations drawn up by bureaucrats of the time “” keep off the grass in public parks, refrain from spitting in the street and avoid putting your feet on train seats.

In short, he seemed a model citizen, but as in so many of us, within W. Reginald Bray there lurked an impish spirit that longed to cock a snook at officialdom.

And a clue as to his target was the red post-box outside his home in Forest Hill, a leafy suburb of South London.

Its positioning could not have been more fortuitous for a man whose hobby was to test the postal system to its limit.

He did this by attaching address labels to the strangest objects imaginable and sending them, unwrapped, through the post. Some, like an old slipper or a half-smoked cigar, were small enough to be slipped anonymously into the letterbox.

Others, including a bowler hat and frying pan, had to be taken to his local post office. As they were handed over the counter without an envelope, box or brown paper to disguise them, he must have received some very strange looks.

But Bray had no qualms about how others might view his unusual pastime. Indeed, an entertaining new book describes how this relentless joker dispatched more than 32,000 curios over the decades, at one point incurring the wrath of Adolf Hitler.

He not only posted his family”™s pet dog but also, extraordinarily, himself.

Read the rest of this article here.