Return to Sender

This article was published in 1997, in Newsletter 12.

Last newsletter, we proudly announced that we had our own e-mail address. Sadly, within a couple of weeks, messages sent to us were being rejected. Here’s what happened.

The company which, very generously, provided an e-mail forwarding service, decided that said service was being abused, and that it should whittle down the number of subscribers. It quite fairly decided to give subscribers advance notice of the impending changes, to allow them to re-register.

The Cycling Campaign, which thought this service was a ‘very good thing’, registered during the warning period, but was not given the warning that things would change. Furthermore, new software was to be installed, so names would soon be limited to fewer characters than ‘Cambridge.Cycling.Campaign’.

So, in blissful ignorance, we announced our new e-mail address, and for a week the messages flowed in.

When things went quiet, and we investigated, we were eventually told that we just could not have our first choice. (Of course, we’d already reprinted our membership forms by then.)

We’ve registered under a new name, and you can now contact us at

It’s a cautionary tale, although I can’t decide whether it’s ‘you don’t get anything for free, really’ or ‘you just can’t trust the technology’.