Sunday 9 May 2010

London 2010 Festival of stamps - Post Office presence

The key here is the difference between Royal Mail and Post Office (Counters Ltd).

Royal Mail were always going to have a big stand selling all their philatelic products as part of their support for the international exhibition and festival.  The presence of Post Office Ltd was by no means certain.  For Stamp World 1990 at Alexandra Palace there was a Mobile Post Office trailer in the car park.  I can't remember a presence at StampShow 2000, although there probably was one.

But as recently as late February Post Office Ltd couldn't tell us whether they would have counter facilities or even Post & Go machines at London 2010.  It does seem that the arrangements were made quite late in the process, but we did indeed have a Post Office presence, albeit in some fits and starts!

At the left, off shot, the Post & Go Machine.   At the right, the counter with scales, horizon desk and printer.   Not full facilities, but certainly I was able to draw cash from my bank account (avoiding a trip across the road to Barclays' ATM), stamps could be bought, letters and cards posted.  And, of course, the Horizon machine could produce the much-derided white label - but these labels were not white - Islington joined Wales in having the golden Machin labels!

No copies of my own to show here as they have to be posted and are not handed back, so here is one from Brian's postagelabelsuk blog:

The system produces receipts and certificates of posting which identify the branch location:

Meanwhile on the other side of the booth, the Post and Go machine was finally persuaded into life.  The Post & Go label (this one for Airmail) shows the branch code 002010 for the Festival:

The Post & Go stamps (known almost universally as Faststamps) also bear this code:

With appropriate juggling it was possible to produce the collectors-favourite strip of 5 different Faststamps:
But the Post & Go machine hasn't been programmed to show the Branch Location, although it does show the Branch code:

Some first day covers have been prepared, and some letters sent through the ordinary mail. It will be interesting to see if there are any problems with the time-limited Post & Go labels which, issued on 8 May, had to be posted by 9 May. But there are no collections on 9 May, so the ones I posted this morning will be picked up on 10th May! Examples of actually posted, and first day, envelopes will be added when received.


  1. Can I just ask..I recently used the Post and Go machine and the only stamp i put on my parcel was the Post and go label like the one shown in the third image. Is there need to add another stamp to that label? Please advise!!

  2. That's fine - the P&G LABEL is for instant or next day posting (which is why it is dated). The P&G STAMPS (which we called Faststamps before Post Office/Royal Mail announced their name) are for instant or later posting.


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