Monday 17 August 2020

Our amazing readers - thank you!

Most posts on this blog are read by just over 400 or so regular readers, and many by several hundred more.  Some people have written that it is the first place they look every day - sorry if things were a little sparse last month!

Then there are the regular commenters who alert everybody to new stamps, or Post Office branch changes.  Others send information by email, and often when I am busy within or outside the office several people will write about the same eBay discovery.  Thanks to you all: often these are not individually acknowledged but I like to think that previous contacts and mentions reassure all contributors that their information is part of the foundation of the blog, and much appreciated by us and other readers as well.

As always there are what are known on internet forums as 'lurkers' - those who read and absorb but rarely have any news to contribute.  Sometimes these are our customers, sometimes they buy from post offices or Royal Mail, we don't know. Maybe they are not adding to the collections, but just like to read about stamps.

And then, out of the blue, there are letters, from people we don't know.

This letter came today from a reader who - as far as I have been able to find - last wrote to us in August 2012 about availability of Olympic Gold Medal sheets in Lincolnshire.

Eight years on, a wonderful piece of Lincolnshire postal history - these may be available for many years, or maybe only a few months.  Nice to have, so thank you JLB of Lincoln.

This letter was posted from the Mobile Post Office, serving sleaford which uses a self-inking-datestamp inscribed MORTON MOBILE.

The post office in the market town of Sleaford, population 17,500, at Greenhills convenience store in Southgate closed in February when, according to Post Office Ltd, "the lease expired".  A Post Office spokesperson said: "The lease where Sleaford Post Office is currently based is due to expire in February and the premises, which we do not own, will then be withdrawn for Post Office use."

The onset of the pandemic meant that a quick replacement was not possible, instead a short-term service was been provided from mid-February by the Mobile Post Office from Morton, 15 miles away but only for a few hours on Saturday mornings.

The Morton Mobile also serves small villages in the area, several of them for 4-8 hours on four days a week*.

Meanwhile the hunt for suitable premises and postmasters in Sleaford continues.  In the light of the litigation between past sub-postmasters and Post Office Ltd, known as the Horizon Trial, the quest might continue for some time.

For collectors of Horizon labels, the one from the mobile uses the Branch FAD 110444.

UPDATE 10 September
As noted in the comments, a temporary Sleaford PO has been opened with FAD 214501 at 18 Riverside, Southgate, Sleaford, Lincolnshire, NG34 7PD
My further thanks to JLB who has sent this letter posted on the last day of operation of the Morton Mobile at Sleaford.  It continues to operate at other locations - see comments.

* UPDATE 18 November
We now have more accurate information on villages served:

MORTON (Bourne, Lincolnshire) 

Castle Bytham, Grantham; Buckminster, Grantham; South Witham, Grantham (2 stops); Colsterworth, Grantham; Corby Glen, Grantham; Wymondham (LE14), Melton Mowbray. 


  1. Incredible JLB obviously reads the blog and has responded to your request for hand stamps, admirable!

  2. What a lovely clear cancellation and so nicely placed on the envelope. I'm sure there will not be to many of these around.

  3. It’s nice that during our enforced sojourn, this blog has kept abreast with developments, both in stamps, stamp books and developments in services offered by the Post Office (Parcelshops and the Pop Up/Temporary Units) adding to the Crown/Main/Local/Hosted Outreach/Mobile/Partnered models that we are accustomed to.

    1. Thank you - it's largely due to the efforts of the reader/contributors and the fact that since we moved and most of my stock is still in boxes, there are no sales to send out.

  4. The mobile service in Sleaford will end on 5 September 2020, a ‘temporary’ unit will be introduced from 7 September 2020 at 18 Riverside Shopping Centre, resulting in another office in the ‘501’ series
    The Offices which fall under Morton Mobile Post Office are
    704210 Castle Bytham
    705210 Buckminster
    706210 South Witham ‘2’ (NG33 5QH)
    707210 South Witham ‘1’ (NG33 5QB)
    708210 Colsterworth
    709210 Corby Glen
    710210 Sleaford
    710217 Wymondham
    712217 Edmondthorpe
    714217 Market Overton

    Another 501 series ‘Temporary’ Post Office opened in Northern Ireland
    205501 Blacks Road (cited as Kings Road in the consultation letter) Post Office, BT10 0LN which opened - 31 August 2020
    412704 Post Office, which closed - 29 August 2020

    1. Sleaford’s new details

      214501 Southgate
      18 Riverside, Southgate, Sleaford, Lincolnshire, NG34 7PD


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