Finally a picture of Reg Geary (In the centre) on Telemessage prior to the move to St Botolphs and thanks to Bob Kirby we can say that on the left itís Billy Mills and on the right (with glasses) Gerry Lowe (Thanks for the info Bob).
That photo was taken in the Telemessage Office on the 7th floor Electra House just before we moved.
Telemessages started in about 1982, the Inland Telegraphs were closing then and some of their staff were taking early retirement, so some of us were asked to go to their office, (I think it was in the CTO) to help out until the Inland and Overseas Telegraphs were merged, I seem to remember that it was for about six weeks.
At about this time the Overseas Telegram delivery force were moved out and Telemessages started, they were accepted the same as telegrams but were delivered with the first post next morning and they could be accepted up to 2200 hours. Really they were a first class letter that could be sent late in the evening and were guaranteed delivery next morning or money refunded, but there were and probably still are places that only get about 3 or 4 deliveries each week so there is no next morning delivery, so some people got a virtually free service.
I don't remember how much they were but I seem to remember that they were priced in blocks of fifty words and when they started they were typed in lower case, as in a letter, overseas telegrams were still typed in upper case. that was until one of the new managers saw one of the blokes had mistakenly typed a Telemessage in upper case and instead of letting him correct it he decreed that in future all Telemessages would also be typed in upper case, which demonstrated their knowledge about the job!
There were a selection of greetings cards for most occasions and we had one for the Queens Greetings for Diamond Weddings and Hundredth Birthdays.
We carried on with this until about 1988 when the office was moved to St Botolphs, it was a dump, the building was surrounded by scaffolding holding nets to catch any pieces of masonry that might fall of the building, and, I was told that the scaffolding and nets were still in place years later.
I retired from BT in November 1988 shortly before the service closed but Telemessages were still going reasonably strongly although telegrams were falling off.
Some of the staff went temporarily to Coventry to help open the new office there for when the Telemessage Service was transferred there. As I remember, Bob Woods went there to be the Manager.