It's not unusual at the busy Christmas period for some of the old postmarking machines to be pressed back into service - surprising really as the mail still needs to go through one of the bar-coding machines, and there is ample evidence from our incoming mail that postmarking can be by-passed on those.
Norwich Mail Centre and 'Lancashire' - probably Preston Mail Centre - have both resorted to using their Universal machines this year, the latter bringing the Snowman slogan out of retirement. Most likely it was still in the machine from last time it was used!
Lancashire -43- 14 DEC 2016 Happy Christmas PLEASE POST EARLY
Norwich Norfolk CFC 2, 9 - XII 2016
For some reason Norwich adopted the Roman numeral designation for months as used in Wales on this machine when it was first installed. This one has been seen used on 5, 9 and 12 December.
UPDATE 22 December
Thanks to JG for providing these additional examples.
Aberdeen Mail Centre -C- 16 December
Lerwick Shetland, 8 XII 2016
Peterborough: two machines, with -A- die showing only the year, and (? )M3 with more of the date but sadly off the envelope!
Once again, Ipswich is using at least two Universal machine dies (one with inverted place/time unit), even though the mail is also processed at South East Anglia Mail Centre. Whereas the modern machines adapt the ink-jet to cope with square envelopes which are presented with the stamp in the top-left corner (and address sideways), Ipswich run the same letter through the Universal 6 times (3 front, 3 back) until they hit the stamp!
If you have any other examples, please send details and pictures.
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