Thursday, 1 November 2018

No Philatelic Counters in London from 2019

As mentioned in August, thanks to our reader C, the 'Trafalgar Square' Post Office in King William IV Street London will close during December (date to be announced.)

This means that there is no comprehensive stockist of Royal Mail collectable stamps in Post Offices in the central London.  I'm sure there is a comment here somewhere that Eastcheap (City of London) PO no longer has a dedicated philatelic counter (comments aren't searchable in the same way that the blog is).  However poor Trafalgar Square may have been on occasion, it was always better than nothing, which is what we will have now.

I have suggested to Royal Mail philatelic that they could perhaps have a retail unit at the Postal Museum: of course it wasn't designed with that in mind, so that would probably be difficult to achieve.   Does anybody have any other suggestions?  


  1. When Trafalgar Square underwent refurbishment many years ago Aldwych and High Holborn offered a philatelic counter.

    Interesting that the Trafalgar Square closure letter makes no mention of High Holborn (Mon-Fri). It only references Aldwych (Mon-Fri) and Broadway (St. James) (Crown hours) Crown offices. New Oxford Street (24/7) & Poland Street (Soho) are ‘Locals’ and Lower Regents Street is a ‘Main’.

    From your Friday, 25 August 2017 post, The Galleries has been announced as being franchised to WHSmith in March 2019. Cambridge City, Chester, Colchester, City of Cardiff, City of Exeter, Harrogate, Trowbridge and York are among the next batch of Crown/DMB offices to go to WHSmith. Leaving Colchester (Essex), Croydon (London), Grimsby (Lincolnshire), Portsmouth (Hampshire) and Stroud (Gloucestershire).

    Should pressure not be put on Royal Mail to ensure their products are available through their ‘tied’ outlet, The Post Office?

  2. Aldwych appears to have room for a Philatelic counter, so does Borough High St - not so sure that High Holborn does. But opening times is also a factor - both of those close at 5.30pm whereas Trafalgar Square is open later. Being able to pop in on the way home from work is desirable for some I'm sure.

  3. Our main Post Office in Fareham which is located in W.H.Smiths is now being transferred over to W.H.Smith to fully manage.

  4. I read of this with dismay. It was the only place I could buy English 2nd class definitives. However when I called in on Saturday I wondered what was up because they had none at all. And Ian is right about block buster issues. Trafalgar Square would not sell me any Harry Potter stamps individually: they sold out in less than a week at my local Crown office. Yet in the folder were sheaves of May's owl stamps. Fewer and fewer post offices will sell commemoratives at all and; as crown offices dwindle & philatelic offices like this one disappear it will soon be hardly possible to get any new stamps.

  5. What about Mount Pleasant Post Office? It is a while since I was last there but at the time it was a pure Post Office and seemed to be part of the Royal Mail building. It is also fairly close to the Postal Museum who do not seem to have any Post Office trained people

    John embrey

  6. No I very recently worked near to the Mount Pleasant post office branch and it's just the same as every other branch, nothing special because it's at Mount Pleasant. They are just as useless at selling special issues as anywhere else (not the fault of the staff mind you).

    The trouble with Mount Pleasant (and even more so the Postal Museum which is a couple of side streets away "round the back"), is that it is not particularly easy to get to ... it's 10-15 mins brisk walk from any tube station, or 12 or so stops on a bus from Holborn area. Trafalgar Square was as another poster points out, very so very central that it was easy to call in at after work. Indeed one time I asked my partner to call in and get what I wanted, on her way home from work.

    Stupid to not replace it, more of the Philatelic side of RM being super short sighted; they seem to be determined to make it harder than ever to collect their stamps, not withstanding the insane costs now too. Trafalgar Square was my solution to the Bureau's inability to reliably send issues out on the correct day in time for me to send them back for handstamping, so if Trafalgar Square is now going that may be the final straw that makes me give up collecting every new issue (which I've done since 1971).