Sunday 13 May 2018

If it's a postmark, why can't we all have a copy? - CHOGM London

It seems the Royal Mail Pres Office are at it again.  Thanks to NS we are able to illustrate an apparent postmark applied to special commemorative postcards of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting recently held in London.

UPDATE 20 MAY - One of these cards has now been offered on eBay with a starting price of £1.   Postmark collectors should visit this page
Just two bidders pushed this up from 99p to £10.50

According to our correspondent (to whom very many thanks):
Delegates (primarily Government officials and invitees from Commonwealth countries) were invited to send a postcard to anywhere in the world. A special event postcard was supplied highlighting the key venues used during the meetings and posted cards received an exclusive handstamp. A dedicated Royal Mail postbox was installed at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in Westminster and could only be accessed by delegates during three of the five days.

How many delegates took up the opportunity is unknown but the facility was not widely promoted and examples will be very limited.
Arguably, if the postcards were forwarded under cover, then the 'postmark', which is in the same style as some previously promoted by the press office, could be considered as a cachet.  But if the cards were sent as mail items, then this is definitely a postmark.

According to Clear Mapping Co
We were delighted to be approached to create a poster map showcasing London and the iconic venues the Heads of Government would be visiting. The map was created in QGIS using Ordnance Survey Open Data to begin with. Then the landscape was distorted to fit Windsor Castle and central London in to the artwork, and the winding River Thames was condensed.
The map depicts the landmarks and beautiful illustrated details like the Hackney black cabs, old fashioned telephone boxes and the Queen’s guard. The beautiful bespoke illustrated poster maps were presented to the Heads of State, as a keepsake of the event.
Alongside the poster map we created postcards showing the City of London. These were given to more than 2000 delegates in sustainable gift bags during the event. The Royal Mail kindly provided a unique franking stamp for the occasion, so delegates could send their postcards around the world for free. These have already reached far away destinations such as Cyprus, Jamaica and New Zealand!
 The company has already produced maps for Kigali, the venue for the next meeting late next year.

Update 2:
I have confirmed that the postmarking was done by the London Special Handstamp Centre at Mount Pleasant.  No count was kept, but 'hundreds', rather than dozens or the full 2000, were processed, a mix of UK and international.

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