Monday 4 December 2023

December 2023 slogan postmarks and other interesting postal markings.

Slogan postmarks used in December will be shown here; please check for latest updates before spending your time scanning, but if you have something new or another format, then please do send it in for publication. 

Our first stamped post of the month shows a continuation of the British Heart Foundation default postmark, and as it's a square envelope we have a good example of the slogan layout reversed - and the wavy lines go squarely across the barcode due to the position of the stamp.  

Gatwick Mail Centre 02/12/2023 reversed layout.

British Heart Foundation slogan postmark Gatwick 02/12/2023.

UPDATE 19 December. I'm sorry these have been building up and I did not attribute them in my file name, so apologies if I get the attribution wrong.

This one is easy, as it is addressed to us!  We don't often see examples from Home Counties North Mail Centre 17-12-2023. The stamp is in the right corner, but the envelope was processed turned 90º clockwise, and the postmark missed the stamp entirely!

Square envelope causing problems at Home Counties North on 17-12-2023

 The other layout from North & West Yorkshire 11/12/2023

British Heart Foundation slogan postmark North & West Yorkshire 11/12/2023.

JG shows two examples of the BHF slogan from Peterborough Mail Centre on 4 & 5 December in different sizes.  The reason for this was explained once but I've forgotten it.

British Heart Foundation slogan postmark Peterborough Mail Centre 04 & 05-12-2023 in differemt sizes.

Post Early for Christmas?  Last Posting Dates?

When did we last not have a 'Post early' or similar slogan?  UK readers will know of the delivery problems that Royal Mail has simply because it has driven so many of its employees to leave the service rather than put up with the stress of extra long hours and heavy loads.  So this year they didn't bother to ask us to post early or have a slogan with the last posting dates.

Meanwhile, here are some they did earlier...

Last Posting Dates 2017 Norwich Mail Centre

Remember to Post Early, Exeter Mail Centre 2017

Remember to Post Early, Norwich Mail Centre 2018

Last posting dates, Exeter Mail Centre 2018

Last posting dates, Peterborough Mail Centre 2019

Other postmarks, postal markings etc,

It's Christmas and so as is usual at this time of year - despite fewer cards being posted every year - old Universal machines are coming out of retirement.

First out of the trap this year is Stromness, Orkney on 4 December, with the Snowman slogan.  JE writes, "Stromness' machine has not had a year slug for several years - but the stamp and the Inverness inkjet confirm that it is from 2023. This is one of the few Universal SCMs still in regular use by RoyalMail - presumably year slugs are no longer supplied.  The Snowman slogan die dates from 1994. (The Inverness British Heart Foundation slogan applied later the same day.)

Stromness, Orkney, Universal postmark dated 4 December (2023) with Snowman slogan.


My thanks to AB for sending this image,  Packaging from Amazon was reused - very commendable - and the Post Office stuck the Horizon label over the yellow Amazon label.  Remember that these QR-type codes are tracked internally through Royal Mail's system (and may also provide proof of delivery on the website).  

Evidently scanning at the Midlands Parcel Hub was hampered by 'show-through' from the Amazon label, and so they provided a new QR-coded label with the same pattern and same number.  I've never heard of this operational need before, probably because most of the time the packaging is discarded when the goods are removed.  One to watch out for - more modern postal history!

Overlabelled at Midlands Hub - to provide a more readable QR-type code.

Update 22 December. This is one I should have shown last month; it is also on the Postal History blog because of the new surcharge rate of £2.50 effective from 30 October, but we don't get many Northern Ireland postmarks, so this one from CRAIGAVON DELIVERY OFFICE helps to redress that

£2.50 'Stamp no longer valid', surcharge 1 November 2023 at new rate effective 30 October, with Cragavon Delivery Office postmark


My thanks to Mel Holley for this image from Cardiff Mechanised Letter Office.  The packet (which must have weighed between 101-250g) was correctly prepaid at the 2nd class rate of £2.40, but was set aside for checking, maybe because it was a spot check on the weight?

Whatever the reason, no surcharge was applied and the letter was duly delivered.


To the left of the text is the figure 1 for First Class, although this is a 2nd class Large Letter.

If you have any other interesting postal markings, please send them to one of the email addresses in the top right of this blog.  Thank you.

Remember, any other slogans appearing in December will be added to this post, so check here before you spend time scanning and emailing.  I'll add new ones as quickly as possible.


1 comment:

  1. My daughter received advice that an untamed letter was at the sorting office and would be given over on payment of £5. She’d already been advised by the sender that it was a Christmas card and not to bother collecting it. On the 28th Dec the card arrived marked “delayed delivery-deliver 28th Dec”. There was no charge for this. She took a photo of the cover which I will try to forward.


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