Thursday 14 January 2021

January postmark news.

This post will record any new slogan postmarks used during January, and any other postmarks of interest that I find or that any readers send.

At the time of writing (14 January) there have been no new slogans but the default slogan for Royal Mail's corporate charity for the past few years.  Of course with most young people now required to do home learning with limited IT or internet resources, there has been much written about the effects on the mental health of young people.

So we start with one from Croydon Mail Centre dated 07-01-2021

Royal Mail
supporting youth
mental health with

Update: my thanks to RW for the latest Covid-related slogan from Gatwick Mail Centre 14/01/2021.  This is a variation on the one used last April.

Stay home.
Protect the NHS.
Save lives.

Update 27 Jan.  Thanks to KD for what he admits is a poor example said to be from Nottingham Mail Centre, but it may be Manchester 22/01/2021 (Confirmed now, as it was posted in Buxton).

We have the other layout from Norwich Mail Centre, but not a very clear one!  (20-01-2021)

UPDATE 24 February.  My thanks to MD for sending this one that wasn't reported at the time. IN previous years we have had nationwide use of the Burns night slogan and not only on mail to Scotland. Anyway, here is the 2021 version from Glasgow Mail Centre 22-01-2021.

Fair fa' your honest,
sonsie face, Great Chieftain
o' the Puddin-race!
Burns Night 
25 January 2021
Burns Night slogan postmark 2021 from Glasgow Mail Centre

Update 26 Jan. A mixture of our own and provided examples of the latest new slogan for Holocaust Memorial Day, tomorrow.  Firstly one from Greenford/Windsor Mail Centre 25/01/2021,

Holocaust Memorial
27 January 2021

A reversed one from Plymouth and Cornwall 23/01/2021

And the other layout from Peterborough Mail Centre 23-01-2021 in four lines.

and a better one from Norwich Mail Centre apparently dated 20-01-2021 on 2nd class the same day as the Manchester 'Stay at Home' example above on 1st class.

Light the Darkness Holocaust Memorial Day slogan from Norwich Mail Centre.

UPDATE 1 February

The last slogan for January, which will almost certainly run over into February, is for National Storytelling week.  This is a promotion by the Society for Storytelling (bet you didn't know there was one!)

National Storytelling week
Tell Your Story
30th Jan - 6th Feb

The clearest example is from Exeter Mail Centre, with another from Edinburgh (thanks to RW & SL).  I've had others from various contributors, but no clear ones, and none yet from the other type of machine.

"Supporting & promoting Storytelling in the UK

Oral storytelling is one of the most ancient artforms, and continues to this day as a vibrant part of culture throughout the world.

We provide a central place to find out about storytelling events, to ask for advice on using storytelling, about Workshops to help you find your individual voice as a new storyteller."

This will be repeated into the February post, with others if supplied.  


My thanks to JG for providing this quite late Universal usage from Cornwall Mail Centre on 19 January 2021.  Normally used at Christmas, it may now being used to allow postal workers to be distanced from each other.

Universal machine postmark with wavy lines, used 19 January 2021.

UPDATE 31 January

Our customer in Shetland has written and provided an example of the Lerwick Universal - clearly the date block stands proud of the rest of the due, so nothing here to indicate where it is from!  A nice misplaced 2nd class Post and Go printing as well, on MA14 stock from Inverness branch.

Lerwick Universal machine postmark with wavy lines.

Publicity for new stamp issues

As we are all only too aware, publicity by Royal Mail for new stamp issues is very limited these days. Yes, they sometimes make a big splash in the press - the National Parks issue was well-received in 10 regional newspapers and some nationals - but generally unless there is some problem, the press is quiet, and new stamps rarely get a mention on broadcast media in any programme.

In the course of looking through my boxes this week I found that it wasn't always so.  I had forgotten that not so long ago Royal Mail advertised new stamp issues with postmark slogans.  Here are three from 2007/08:

The impression on these old machines is not very good - they could certainly do better now even if some results suggest otherwise.  But these advertise the 5 June 40th Anniversary of the 'Queen's head' stamp (Sheffield 05.06.07), the 15 April Insects illustrated with a butterfly (Sheffield 22/04/08) and the 17 July Air Display stamps (Sheffield 10/07/08). 

There have been other relevant slogans since then, but they don't all mention the related stamps. The last one I can recall without a lot of research was for the British Bees in 2015.  Slogans for the 1d Black and Battle of Britain in the same year did not mention the stamps, instead just marking the anniversary although they were in use on the day the stamps were issued.

As with all marketing there is no way of knowing how successful such a slogan would be in attracting buyers, but as the production of the slogans is a relatively cheap process (no metal die to be made) one wonders why Royal Mail don't use this method of publicity more often.

UPDATE 22 January
JG reminds me that there have been some more recent stamp publicty slogans, such as this one used at Swindon on 25-02-2015 for the Inventive Britain DNA stamp, appropriately used here on the DNA stamp.

This will be the space for all new postmark slogans in January and any other postmark news.  Please send your examples for inclusion.

The February slogans will be posted shortly.

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