This new exhibition (above) at Surrey Heath Museum offers a fascinating insight into communications before the days of telephones, texting and e-mail.

Percy Elkins, who lived in Windlesham all his life, was a past Chairman of Camberley & District Stamp Club.

During his lifetime, he built up an unrivalled collection of postal history for the Surrey Heath area, from the earliest period to modern times, including many of original letters connected with John Mears, Bagshot's leading solicitor in the early 19th century.

These are displayed alongside some interesting local picture postcards, unusual postmarks including many from the Bagshot Post Office and its sub-offices at Chobham, Frimley and Sandhurst, and information on former village post offices throughout the borough.

The exhibition contains two reconstructions, one of a nostalgic old village shop-cum-post office counter and another of a traditional local photographer's studio complete with early plate camera. Because Mr Elkins was a lifelong resident of Windlesham, displays of material and photographs relating to the village have also been included, with the help of local residents and post office staff. Visiting children can take part in a "design a stamp" competition.

An accompanying book entitled "The Village Post" by Mary Bennett, Assistant Curator at Surrey Heath Museum, summarises all the local information, and is available from the museum at £4.95.

"The Village Post" runs at Surrey Heath Museum, Knoll Road, Camberley, GU15 3HD, from October 29 to January 4. Opening hours are Tuesday to Saturday 11am-5pm and admission is free. For further enquiries please contact the museum on 01276 707284.

Picture: A reconstruction of an old village post office, part of a new exhibition at the Surrey Heath Museum. Assistant curator Mary Bennett is pictured centre, with Helen Chalk, museum attendant.