Wednesday 2 December 2020

December Slogans - and other - Postmarks

The first slogan postmark used in December is the carry-over from November, with Royal Mail's 'Shop Early, Send Early' exhortation, to take the pressure off the postal workers in this most difficult of years.

 Shop Early,
Send Early this

Shop Early, Send Early this Christmas slogan postmarks.

The Gatwick Mail Centre example dated 01/12/2020 was actually received by us this afternoon. My thanks to RW for the Croydon Mail Centre 27-11-2020 example first posted in the November post.  

For some reason South East Anglia failed to recognise this one properly and applied a non-slogan postmark on 5 December - and not a clear one.

Edinburgh Mail Centre 14-12-2020 used both three-line and four-line version of the slogan on similar items:

Reversed layout from Bristol Mail Centre 12/12/2020

UPDATE 7 December.  Royal Mail's social media team have advertised a new slogan to be running 'all this week'.  

We are supporting the Department of Culture Media & Sport "Let's Talk Loneliness" campaign with a special Let's Talk Loneliness postmark. Look out for it on all stamped mail this week

We can all
help each
other stay

Let's Talk Loneliness slogan - template.

My thanks to MC who was quick off the mark with the latest slogan, sending a scan of Sheffield Mail Centre 05/12/2020 and Exeter Mail Centre 04-12-2020

Let's Talk Loneliness slogans from Sheffield and Exeter Mail Centres.

UPDATE 11 December.  My thanks to AH for this 'reversed' version on a square envelope. This from Tyneside NE/SR Mail Centre 08/12/2020

Let's Talk Loneliness slogan postmarked reversed on square envelope from Tyneside Mail Centre.

In a single picture one reader sent four examples, two different sizes of the first layout (Croydon and Peterborough), and both normal and reversed layout from Lancashire and South Lakes.

UPDATE 22 DECEMBER.  UPDATED 11 May 2022, when more examples received.

The Shop Early slogan was reintroduced after the conclusion of the Let's Talk campaign.

Shop Early, Send Early this Christmas: Peterborough Mail Centre 12-12-2020, South East Anglia Mail Centre 12/12/2020, and 15/12/2020 reversed.

In what could be the final campaign before the holiday break Royal Mail optimistically wished us a Merry Christmas!  Examples here from Home Counties North (21 12 2020) and a very clear one from Norwich Mail Centre 18-12-2020

Merry Christmas
from everyone
at Royal Mail!

The other layout, reversed, from Cornwall Mail Centre 21/12/2020

UPDATE 30 December:  Above is the other layout in normal format we received from Bristol (BA BS GL TA) dated 20/12/2020

My thanks to MC who provided this scan of the default Action for Children slogan which evidently came back into use on 24 December at Lancashire & South Lakes.  RM obviously decided it was too late to use 'Merry Christmas' at that stage.

'Action for Children supporting youth mental health' slogan reintroduced on 24 December 2020

UPDATE 14 December.  Thanks to RW for the first Universal this season.  The sender "is from County Durham (Darlington)" but we don't know exactly where it was used, nor exactly when.

Where the circular town/date die should be there is a Census diamond instead.   These hark back to an era before mail centres had machines which could accurately count the mail throughput.  

"The "diamond" mark was used in Universal cancelling machines as a control mark when an annual postal census was taken usually in October or November. This procedure started as early as 1923 and ceased in 1985. The single impression dies were fitted with a counting device and the marking was to indicate that the item had been counted.

The count was normally made of all posted traffic (posted at, received at, forwarded and any counter business), including foreign mail, for one week at a particular office providing a record of the number of items passing through the machine per hour or per day and giving a representative of average weekly postings for the Post Office." 
[Source: Rainer's Sideline collections.]

There is more discussion about this with many examples on the Stampboards forum.  

More Universals

2. Lancashire and South Lakes Remember the Postcode slogan on 9 December, and also with no town die (attributed by the contributor on the basis of the writer).

3. North & West Yorkshire with postcode slogan 10 December

4. Peterborough -A- with wavy lines (centre inverted)  Nov 2020 (but possibly used in December)

5. Peterborough SCM2 (?) with wavy lines all upright also Nov 2020.

6. JE sends this remarkable piece with a variety of postmarks on, described by him thus.

The cover was sent on 8 December from Stromness, Orkney, where it received the local SCM die and the 'Snowman' slogan. It then went to Aberdeen, where it was sorted by an Intelligent Letter Sorting Machine (iLSM), which added the shallow non-slogan version of its inkjet cancel. On arrival in Preston on 10 December it received the well-inked Universal 'Lancashire / South 37 Lakes' die, apparently with no slogan or wavy lines.  There does however appear to be a faint 'Postcode' slogan, with no 'town/date' die, at an angle across the Stromness slogan!  Perhaps some items which went through the machine which produced the 'no die' item already shown were then put through another machine with only the '37' die.

And given the age of the Millennium stamp it's surprising that any ink-jet postmarks were applied. Stromness makes its firs appearance this year - still waiting for Lerwick!

As usual, this is where all interesting postmarks will be recorded for December, and it will be no surprise if there are some Universal machines pressed into service as often happens at this time of year.  While some people are saying that they will send fewer greetings cards because they have been in contstant touch, others are saying that they will send more than usual this year.  No doubt Royal Mail will tell us in due course just how busy they have been.

Any more will be added after the holiday break.  Keep looking!


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