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".

UPDATE 12 October
My thanks to JE for providing a copy of the Queensferry slogan from the Lancashire and South Lakes Mail Centre at Preston.  John writes:
It was only used in Integrated Mail Processors (IMPs), so it was not used in Scotland! Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow only have Intelligent Letter Sorting Machines (iLSM).

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.

(25 September)  The campaign is mentioned on 'myRoyalMail':
The postmarks will be published on millions of letters and cards delivered nationwide, featuring the words:
  • National Eye Health Week 18-24 September 2017 – Promoting the importance of eye health
  • Know Your Numbers! Week (18-24 September 2017) – the UK’s biggest free blood pressure testing event

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

UPDATE 25 September - Another health slogan
As indicated in the quote from 'myRoyalMail' above, there are two different health campaigns at the same time.   So now I am able to show the 'other' one for National Eye Health Week, in both formats. The impressions from Chester and South Midlands Mail Centres are not very good, but the text shows clearer on the last one (from Aberdeen), which was taken on a phone.

National Eye Health Week
18-24 Sepetmber 2017
Promoting the
importance of eye health

UPDATE 26 September.
Yes, the second update today.  I understand that Royal Mail will be marking the new status of the Late District as a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a nationwide special slogan postmark used on 2nd class mail on 27 September and on 1st class mail on 28 September.  This is the wording, and my guess is that the line-breaks will make it look something like this.   Examples, please, if you get them!

Celebrating the
Lake District
World Heritage Site

UPDATE 30 September 2017
Several people have provided copies of this slogan, but none is a particularly good example, but here is one from South Midlands Mail Centre pending arrival of better ones. Thanks to JG,MC - and DR who tried to get one but got Poetry Day instead (see below)!

UPDATE 1 October: Thanks to DW we have a better image from Glasgow MC 

UPDATE 12 October.  A friend has sent this England Definitive fdc with the 2006 'Buttermere, Lake District, stamp with the WHS slogan.  It's just what collectors would have wanted, but cannot guarantee - as DR proved.


UPDATE 26 September 2017
And one more!  AB has sent this current slogan (asking, "is that really a thing?!") about Thinking Of You Week - which must have been dreamt up by the UK Greetings Card Association.*  Paradoxically they use the twitter (and maybe other) hashtag #sendacarddeliverasmile.  (For those who are not social-media-literate that is 'send a card deliver a smile'.) 

Thinking of
You Week
25 Sept - 1 Oct

And the other format from Peterborough Mail Centre, 2nd class also on 25 September after which it changed to the Poetry Day slogan:

* The GCA is the trade association for the greeting card industry. The voice of the card trade, our mission is to represent, protect and promote our wonderfully innovative sector. The GCA has been working for the greeting card industry since 1919 and today comprises over 450 member companies, large and small.

UPDATE 28 September 2017
As contributor 'Anonymous' writes, "another day another postmark".  MyRoyalMail reports that today is National Poetry Day.  "The postmarks will be published on millions of letters and cards delivered nationwide and will feature the words, ‘National Poetry Day 28 September 2017'.".

UPDATE: Thanks to BE I can now show one version of this postmark, from Peterborough mail centre, 2nd class posted on 26 September.   
DR tried for the Lakes postmark above, but got Poetry Day 2nd class on 27 September instead: a pity as his is from Lancashire & South Lakes MC.  Note also that this MC is also using the / separator in machine #1.

As always we are happy to publish pictures of any new postmarks.  Unless something else has crept in at the end of this week, new postmarks will be in the October post.


  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.


  4. Another day, another postmark

  5. And now the Lake District World Heritage Site

  6. Has anyone actually seen a Queensferry Crossing slogan?

    1. Following my repeat of your request in the October post, we now have one added here. It wasn't used in Scotland!


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