Wednesday, 30 August 2017

September Slogans: New Queensferry Crossing marked by postmark

According to Scotland's Sunday Herald Royal Mail is marking the opening of the new Queensferry Crossing across the Forth of Firth with a nationwide slogan postmark.
The postmark - which says "Official Opening of the Queensferry Crossing Summer 2017" will appear on millions of items of stamped mail across the country over the next few days.
The £1.35 billion bridge, which opens to traffic on August 30, was officially handed from the contractors to the Scottish Government on Monday night.
All mail posted across the UK between August 30 and September 6 will be stamped with the special postmark.
Which makes it the last slogan for August and the first for September.

I've seen no announcement from Royal Mail: given that the official opening is today, 30th August, we may find that the postmark is applied to all mail delivered "between August 30 and September 6".  I'm writing this before the post is delivered, but hope to show images later.

Fifty-three years ago the opening of the Forth Road Bridge was marked by a special stamp designed by Andrew Restall.  If Royal Mail had chosen to mark the opening of this new bridge with a stamp it would undoubtedly have been arty photographic (like that for the Humber Bridge), now that multi-colour printing is the norm, and printers no longer need to produce a plate for each colour used.

Blood Service slogan
The first example of a new slogan for the NHS Blood and Transplant service has appeared from Nottingham Mail Centre, and this (like Bristol reported earlier) has the date separators changed to oblique strokes - 05/09/17.

The full text shows the NHS logo reversed out at top right:

Blood and Transplant 
Sign up as
an organ donor

Thanks to JC for these two further slogans in this campaign.  The Plymouth & Cornwall MC version has the date in the traditional form (08.09.17), while the one from Warrington MC is totally different, reading

Royal Mail
Supports Organ
Donation Week

New date format update
Meanwhile TC of Bristol has sent a selection of local mail which shows that Bristol MC's machine 1 was using the new oblique-stroke date format at least as early as 10 May with the Mental Health Awareness Week slogan, right through to July, while machine 7 continued with the traditional date format.  (Click on image for larger view.)

As if confirming my July suggestion, TC's covering envelope was cancelled at Exeter MC with the Mental Health Awareness slogan dated 04-09-2017

The same slogan has been seen from both Peterborough and Norwich mail centres but with smaller text and 9 wavy lines rather than 11.

RIP Cassini
Royal Mail marked the Grand Finale of the Cassini Mission to Saturn with a special slogan postmark on 14 September.  The best example I have is from KC who sent this one from the Jubilee Mail Centre.  I also have examples from Glasgow and Edinburgh MCs on the same day, but none in the other format.  It reads

Cassini's Grand Finale
Mission to Explore Saturn
Twenty Years of Science

UPDATE 19 September
Know your numbers!
After the blood donation campaign, we now have Blood Pressure Testing Week - it's all health, isn't it?  Thanks to Robert for this one which comes from Mount Pleasant MC on 18 September, and reads:

Know Your Numbers! Week
(18-24 September 2018) - 
the UK's biggest free
blood pressure testing event

Oddly, I didn't see anything about this in Boots the Chemist yesterday, but looking at the website I can see why!  Once again, Norfolk is a desert, with the nearest testing station being 41m/66km away in Glemsford, Suffolk, though the one closest by time (maybe) is Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, but only from 10 am - 3.30 pm.   Doesn't seem much chance of catching people of working age with these times.

Another clearer example just received from a customer from my mailing yesterday, Norwich MC slogan (with Dereham CDS):


  1. Perhaps Royal Mail will feature the new Queensferry Bridge on next year's Europa issue as "Bridges" will be next year's theme.

  2. Just checked some previous envelopes and earliest I have for oblique strokes from Bristol is 26/01/17 on Machine 1.