Christmas '97: Postman Brian Farr delivering post to Bethlehem

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The Independent Online
Postman Brian Farr takes a breather from his busy schedule delivering post to Bethlehem. However this little town is not found in Israel, but a hamlet nestled in the Welsh hills near Llandeilo.

And business has been brisk in the festive season for the village postmaster Gwilym Richards. For rather than making the 2,200-mile pilgrimage to Israel, those wanting their Christmas cards franked in Bethlehem have travelled from as far afield as Southampton and the Scottish borders to the Camarthenshire hamlet. Not wanting to miss out on the opportunity, some tourists dropped their Christmas cards off as early as June.

For the past month Mr Richards, 61, has been furiously stamping more than 100 cards a day. "My right elbow is very tired. One day last week I had 35 cars parked in a row outside the Post Office," he said. Destinations have included Jamaica, Japan, Australia, Poland and Canada. One of the most usual cards he sent was in Latin, addressed to the President of China.

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