Farewell Postman Patel

Sunday, June 28 2009


Edward Teague

25 January 1943 – 9 June 2009

Edward Teague, aka Postman Patel, aka Lord Patel was one of Britain’s finest bloggers. At times a botanist, industrialist, writer and artist he was also a railway enthusiast and offered encouragement to our sister blog BTWT during its early days. He was the great grandson of LB&SR Chief Mechanical Engineer, William Stroudley. The latter was the designer of Gladstone, the first railway engine ever put in a museum, which can still be seen today in York.

Edward Teague had excellent sources and his UK TOP SECRET Postman Patel blog maintained a long tradition in British journalism of exposing corruption and misjustice. It carried many stories which others were afraid to publish or knew that they would never have seen the light of day in the mainstream media. In this he was walking, perhaps without knowing it, in the footsteps of investigative journalist and Internet publishing pioneer Simon Regan.

Teague’s writing style was unique – blunt to the point of rudeness he took spelling mistakes to new heights and turned them into an art form. Here is a short extract from one of his last posts. His subject is the relationship between Whitehall mandarins and Britain’s top scientists –

Scientists – “OK on tap but not on top”

For some odd reason there is a spate of comment about the fat old fraud , wannabe novelist and colossal bore.

Apparently by indentifying the intellectual Luddites in the Civil Service (as Basil F would say – statement of the bleedin’ obvious)and identifying 2 Cultures he has reached the status of some 20th Century stooge sage.

Apart from maching my arm ache reaching for my gun when I hear the phrase 2 Cultures it has been evident since Queen Victoria died and the little incident in Sarajevo that the Rolls Royce minds of the upper echelons have always regarded scientist like an unpleasant luxury like a water flushing closet.

Which is just as well as even today they are regarded as a sort of uber plumber – or more recently a “techie” to be kept under wraps incase they frihten the horses and run off with the women

We have a lengthy list of scientists / technical geniuses who have been ignored …

A generous obituary was published last Thursday by The Independent.

Always at the forefront of understanding and appreciating the changing industrial and commercial world (to the extent of establishing a software company which developed programs for textile manufacturers), he was also adept enough to become a constant thorn in the side of government as he witnessed the collapse of the industry and the futile attempts to pour money into factories which were soon to be shipped wholesale to India.

Edward Teague had a love of the North-west and knew, for example, where to find the old charcoal pits beside the M62 in the Pennines. He could readily, and engagingly, explain the workings of the pneumatic/hydraulic system which existed in the warehouses alongside the Bridgewater Canal in Manchester (these explanations recur in his blog). He never tired of the region’s industrial archaeology and could name all the mills which still dominate a few of the towns to the north of Manchester.

Never a political activist in the traditional sense, he was a genuine libertarian with no time for the humbug and rhetoric of the left and right. The blog he ran as Postman Patel/Lord Patel became a port of call for anyone seeking to unravel what was really going on behind the headlines. His scientific training made him ask questions, and seek answers, where others feared to tread. Never daunted, though sometimes dismayed, by a changing world, he throve upon challenge, to which he brought a perspective which spanned two centuries and drew upon many contacts – whether he was discussing the De Menezes shooting, the fact that the US brought greater firepower upon Libya in 1986 than the English had done in the Falklands…

Read the complete obituary here.

Here are some ‘Postman Patel’s’ posts which I thought BTWT readers might particularly enjoy:



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