you could go to a train station in the UK, hand over a parcel, and it would arrive at another station the same day. Back in the 1980s, this was lightning speed.
Films through the post? Yes. Subscribers to the Lovefilm service rented the movies they wanted to see, which were delivered to them by post. However, Lovefilm’s owner, Amazon has decided to close the service on 31 October 2017.
Stamps used to have a glue on the back that you had to breathe into life by adding moisture. You then had to stick the stamp to the paper envelope as the backing dried. Definitely before the backing dried, as then the stamp wouldn’t stick.
Waiting by the door for important news to arrive? The first post would tip through the letterbox early in the morning. Important news not there? Then you would wait patiently for the second post to occur, and that would happen somewhere between midday and 2pm.
For more than a century, telegrams brought urgent messages: bad news, congratulations at weddings, and announcements of new babies. Telegraph operators transmitted messages over wires by Morse code; these were printed out and hand-delivered by a messenger, often on a bicycle. Not exactly instant, then, but effective.