Monday 4 December 2017

December 2017 Slogan Postmarks - and others

We don't expect much in the way of variety from slogans at this time of year apart from the exhortations to 'Post Early', followed nearer the date by the last day for 1st class, and maybe a 'special delivery - next day' option.

But as mail centres get busy and older machinery is pressed into use, I do expect to see more of the older Universal machines in use.  I've already been told that Chelmsford MC is offloading work to Greenford/Windsor!

Lerwick uses a Universal machine for most of the year, but Inverness and Ipswich will be almost certain to appear this month, so let's keep our eyes open on the Christmas mail - after all it's that time of year when you get more stamped mail than any other! 

Anyway, here is the first Post Early inkjet slogan for 2017, from Exeter MC.  Update: This one doesn't seem to have been very widespread, but examples have been seen from Norwich MC dates 4, 5 and 7 December.


UPDATE 11 December
Here are some variations to the above, with the other format from South East Anglia, and the transposed version from SE Wales, both on 4 Decmber.

Last Posting Dates.
These normally appear after the 'Post Early' slogan, the wording changing as time passes.  But Nottingham had this on 1 December (same date as Exeter's Post Early, above)

Merry Christmas!
Last posting dates
1st class:
22 December
2nd class:
21st December

UPDATE 11 December.
I have a number of Christmas contributions from readers which I shall add soon.  In the meantime, Royal Mail have also marked the award of the 2017 Nobel Literature prize to Kazuo Ishiguro the Japanese-born British novelist.  This news broke in October so unless this is an accidental repeat of a slogan that nobody noticed earlier, it's difficult to see why Royal Mail chose to use it now.   Used in Exeter on Saturday 9 December, the slogan reads

Kazuo Ishiguro - 
Awarded the
Nobel Prize in
Literature 2017

A good addition to a Nobel thematic collection.

Update later the same day:  Thanks to JR for this other format from Preston, albeit they seem to have an inking problem!  This is the other format, and is dated 8 December; the wording is in the same format as above, but without the dash at the end of line 2.

UPDATE 13th: Our Christmas mail brought a better example from Birmingham Mail Centre, dated 12/12/17 (and we have one from Norwich dated 11-12-2017) which suggests that this is a week-long campaign.  (Readers may recall that last autumn Royal Mail had said that there could be no non-Christmas slogans during their Christmas campaign - and then went on to use slogans for the NHS Blood service and the Centenary of the Cub Scout movement!)

UPDATE 15 December:  Glitch at Belfast!
Thanks to GF for this anomaly from Northern Ireland Mail Centre in Belfast, which - after Post Early and Kazu Ishiguro - slipped back a month and used Lest We Forget on 13th December.

UPDATE 17 December 2017
And so we are into the final week before Christmas, and the Last Posting Dates slogans are now in use.  Here's one used on Friday 15th at Norwich MC.  We had another but couldn't read the MC ID.

Merry Christmas!
Last posting dates:
1st class: 21 December
2nd class: 20 December

UPDATE 21 December
I'm grateful to JR for sending more pictures of the Last Posting Date slogans.  His Lancashire and South Lakes is as poor as the Nobel one above, but here is a good example of the other format from Manchester Mail Centre dates 18.12.17

More interesting, though is this from Chester & N Wales as early as 02.12.17 which has the wrong dates on - they are not even last year's - showing 22nd and 21st December for 1st & 2nd respectively.

UPDATE 19 December
My thanks to RS for providing the first (and only so far) example of a Universal machine being pressed into use this year.  Used at Carlisle this shows Cumbria / Dumfries & Galloway on 12 December 2017, with the month being expressed as Roman numerals as is often the case.  Nothing yet from Ipswich, which is unusual.  

Thanks to RS who has provided more examples of the Universal machine usage.

North & West Yorkshire unit 4, with Remember to use the Post Code slogan on 20 Dec 2017

Peterborough SCM3 with wavy lines missing the centre unit, and no date, except for what might be a filed-down year made to look like 2017.  I'm assuming that this is a December use.

South East Anglia (no unit number) with the pictorial 'Merry Christmas Please Post Early' slogan used 7 Dec 2017.

And finally for now (and I'll use this to start off the January postmark blogpost), Lancashire & South Lakes unit 1 Remember to use the Post Code slogan on 2 Jan 2018 with a time!

UPDATE 24 January 2018
Three more Universals were in a batch of covers given to me at last night's club meeting.  North & West Yorkshire machine 3 had a different slogan to that shown above, the Happy Christmas snowman one also in use at SE Anglia.

Dorset & SW Hants and Norwich Mail Centres were both using wavy lines:

Inkjets have been seen from some unusual sources including Croydon MC (mail usually goes to Gatwick, I think), Sheffield and Birmingham are postmarks not seen as often as the more generic ones, at least here.


  1. The slogan postmark congratulating Kazuo Ishiguro on being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature 2017 was timed to coincide with the Award Ceremony in Stockholm Concert Hall on Sunday 10 December. But why didn't Royal Mail produce a slogan postmark for Richard Henderson who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry 2017 at the same Awards Ceremony?

  2. The "Last Posting dates" slogan depicted from Nottingham on Dec 1st has the dates as Dec 22nd & 21st. I had one of these from Chester & N.Wales posted Dec 2nd. I have noticed on later versions of this slogan that the dates have changed to Dec 21st & 20th as in your version depicted from Norwich on Dec 15th. (I had this version from Manchester posted on Dec 18th).

    1. Looks like somebody put the wrong dates in to the computer. Last year's dates are the same as this, but it maybe that somebody advanced them.
      Would be useful to show examples here if you can send scans to please


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