Wednesday 21 December 2016

Museum pieces pressed back into service for holiday season

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.


  1. Thanks Ian for all this. You mentioned RM press releases re the Transplant slogan. They did publicise it at but not on their press release website. Incidentally the Mensa slogan was publicised on the Mensa website with an IMP mock up (dated 2014) but not by RM. There are a couple of other one day slogans which I'll try to scan before Christmas:
    National Poetry Day in October (iLSM only)
    Lest we forget 2016 November.
    Does anyone know if a St Andrew's Day slogan was used on mail to Scotland?
    Happy Christmas everybody!

    1. Thanks Martin. I have the Lest We Forget and forgot to include it (ironic!) I'll add it later - don't know about St Andrews day, I must ask my Scotland customers.

    2. St Andrews Day was used. I have a slogan from Gatwick to Edinburgh

    3. Anonymous, thank you for this news. I'll be pleased (and so will the BPS) to show this if you can send a scan/photo please to

      Many thanks


Thank you for reading the blog and commenting: please use an identity (name or pseudonym) rather than being Anonymous; it helps us to know which 'anonymous' comments are from the same person to avoid confusion. Comments are moderated to avoid spam, but will be published as soon as possible.