At around 8pm today spare a thought for Britain's unsung army of letter detectives. For it is at this moment that the handwriting sins of a calligraphically-challenged nation will be visited upon them in their millions.
On the third floor of an anonymous office building on the outskirts of Stockport, Greater Manchester, teams have been hard at work trying to decipher poorly addressed and difficult-to-read envelopes and letters. It is a task that falls to them all year round - but at Christmas it takes on Herculean proportions.
The centre's 200 workers will be asked to help direct some 23.5 million items of illegible mail to their correct location today when the UK postal system reaches its annual peak.