The Anonymous Widower

It’s All A Bit Of A Doddle!

Many of those of my generation remember British Rail’s Red Star Parcels service with affection.

If you wanted to get a parcel from say Ipswich to London, you’d go to their office at Ipswich station, deliver the parcel and pay your fee, and it would be on the next train to London.  The consignee would then go to Liverpool Street and collect the parcel later.

It worked well and was probably quicker than anything today, except for a courier taking a hig speed form of transport.

I remember in one instance, our McClaren baby buggy broke in about 1972.  They told us to send it by Red Star to Derby, which we did.  They repaired it and sent it back by another train the same afternoon.

Does anybody offer such customer service today?

Red Star is now long gone, but I was interested to see that Network Rail is introducing a parcel sending and receiving service called Doddle.

I doubt it would help me, as there isn’t a main line station close to my house. Unless it grows to use large Overground or Underground stations like Dalston Junction.  After all, they could use the Ticket Office, when it closes.

But it would be an ideal service for those that pass through such a station on their way to or from work.

Will we see the like of Red Star again? I doubt it  will come back everywhere, but on fully-crewed trains, it might return, as how else would you be able to get something really important from say Liverpool to London in under three hours.

Whoever thoght of the name; Doddle, deserves at least an OBE.  But I suspect the man backing the scheme; Lloyd Dorfman, who might have thought of the name wouldn’t accept it, as he already has a CBE.


December 21, 2013 - Posted by | World | , , ,


  1. There are schemes where you can drop parcels off at petrol stations and certain stores – from what I gather this is used by mail order companies for returns, as well as people collecting parcels.

    Comment by Liz P | December 24, 2013 | Reply

  2. […] the story about Doddle parcel points in rail stations, there would appear to be a delivery revolution starting out […]

    Pingback by Collect Your Shopping At A Tube Station « The Anonymous Widower | January 30, 2014 | Reply

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