Sunday, 18 April 2010

2010:365:108 Royal Mail Rubber Band

Royal Mail Rubber Band

Dusty red
thrown away
Hope restored.
gathered in,
rubber red.

A poetry challenge by one of the 365Project participants has kept me thinking and looking with fresh eyes during the weekend.  At a loss to know what to photograph today the little rubber band was sitting beside me.  I always pick them up and it appears that my postman always drops them!   It is hard to believe that 342 million of these bands are used per annum.  
The distinctive red band was introduced in 2004 following complaints from the public that the employees of Royal Mail were discarding rubber bands all over the place.  It was believed that the red band would be harder to ignore and the men and women of the Royal Mail would pick them up when they were dropped.
Not so.  There's nearly always a trail of red behind the morning delivery.  Those around the house I pick up and reuse.  The Times in 2006 carried an article on the rubber band with the title: 
Posties' red rubber bands stretch public's patience
Originally the rubber band was a British patent - 17th March, 1845.  While many other rubber goods now use a synthetic rubber, the band is still a natural product which has greater elasticity.  The rubber is extruded in a long tube and cut across its width to form rubber bands.
That's probably more than you felt that you needed to know about rubber bands.
They are great fun to play with and generations of youngsters have created skipping games from them or used them as catapults.
It is always handy to have a few around the house and office so I'll keep gathering up the ones that have been thrown away; and I guess there will always be postmen/women who simply drop the bands deliberately or accidentally!

Almighty Father,
who in your great mercy gladdened the disciples
with the sight of the risen Lord:
Give us such knowledge of his presence with us,
that we may be strengthened
and sustained by his risen life
and serve you continually in righteousness and truth;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Book of Common Prayer
Collect of the Third Sunday of Easter


berlois said...

You are very clever Elizabeth. I have now learned some interesting facts about rubber bands.
Your poetry is very good :)

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Peter Arronsen said...

Dear Rev Elizabeth,

I hope you don't mind but I have posted a link to your poem on our blog, which is about dog fouling and red rubber bands. I have used your picture as an "advert".

There is only limited material available about red rubber bands and your poem is much appreciated, well done!
Link here:

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