Norvic Philatelics - GB New Stamps and Special Postmarks

Pictorial Faststamps: Royal Mail Heritage Transport - 17 February 2016

Pictorial Post & Go stamps appear in machines in UK Post Offices for defined periods of time in the year and this series is intended to provide attractive stamps that are appropriate for the season in which they are issued.

In 2016 the subject matter and pictorial designs for Post & Go will vary.  The Winter set in November will show Hibernating Animals, the summer set will show Ladybirds and the first set, issued coincident with Spring Stampex and the Royal Mail 500 commemorations features Royal Mail transport through the ages.

Post & Go stamps are sold from Post Office Self-Service Kiosks (SSK), which allow customers to weigh their letters and packets, pay for and print postage stamps and stationery supplies, often without the need to visit the counter. The first Post & Go machine was trialled in The Galleries Post Office® in Bristol in 2008.  The labels will be used in Post & Go machines at Post Offices around the country, and from Royal Mail machines at Enquiry Offices, Museums and Spring Stampex.  The labels can be obtained with 6 different service indicators: 1st class up to 100g & 1st class Large up to 100g, a dual-value Europe up to 20g/World up to 10g, Europe 60g, Worldwide 20g, and Worldwide 60g.  From SSKs other stamps can be printed with monetary values for a variety of services including Special Delivery and parcels.

  Faststamp showing 1640s Postboy. Faststamp showing mailcoach.
Faststamp showing Falmouth Packet Ship. Faststamp showing rilway travelling post office.
Faststamp showing 1930s aeroplane. Faststamp showing 1970s Royal Mail mini-van.

From top left: Post boy 1640s, Mail coach 1790s, Falmouth packet ship 1820s,
Travelling Post Office 1890s, Airmail 1930s, Royal Mail Mini-van 1970s.
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The Royal Mail Heritage: Transport set of stamps reflects the movement of mail via methods of transport. The earliest method of transport for mail was by foot, but increased distance and a greater volume of letters led to the employment of horses. Even greater volumes of mail entailed the use of horse-drawn carts and then vans for road transport, as well as the early adoption of railways, while sailing ships carried the mail still farther, across the globe. These have been the favoured forms of mail transport for much of the past five centuries.

In the 19th century, inviting contractors to tender for mail routes proved very effective, and they provided the transport and drivers that operated to strict demands of time. The availability of fairly reliable second-hand vehicles following the First World War pushed forward the creation of state-owned fleets, while advances in air travel meant that letters and parcels could be delivered even faster. Today, mail continues to be carried throughout the day and night by land, sea and air.

The stamps in detailMail Transportl Post and  Go presentation pack.

Post boy 1640s - Post boys could be of almost any age and carried messages between relay points some 20 miles (32km) apart, the distance a horse could travel at speed before being replaced. Post boys
kept to time and carried a horn, blown periodically, to warn of their approach.

Mail coach 1790s - The first mail coach ran between Bristol and London on 2 August 1784. At the time, coaches were among the swiftest vehicles on the road. The only postal employee on board was the heavily armed mail guard. The last London-based mail coach ran in April 1846.

Falmouth packet ship, 1820s - The earliest packet ships were designed for speed rather than security and were subject to many hazards, including poor seas and the possibility of being attacked by pirates.
Falmouth became an important port for ships sailing to the West Indies and the Mediterranean.

Travelling Post Office, 1890s - The first purpose-built Travelling Post Office (TPO), in which mail was sorted en route, ran on 20 January 1838. Many of the trains exchanged mail pouches without stopping via trackside bag exchange apparatus. The last exchange took place in 1971. Today, mail still travels in sealed train carriages.

Airmail, 1930s. - The world’s first scheduled airmail service began on 9 September 1911. The use of airplanes for long-distance transport of mail increased significantly during the 1920s and 1930s. Originally intended for Imperial Airways’ European mail routes, HP 45 G-AAXE Hengist first flew on 8 December 1931.

Royal Mail Minivan, 1970s - Minivans were purchased in large numbers in the 1970s following the demise of the Morris Minor. They were ideal for smaller collection and delivery duties in towns, but low height and limited ground clearance made them less suitable for rural deliveries.

Technical details:

Designed by Howard Brown with illustrations by Andrew Davidson (The Post boy illustration based on an image courtesy of The British Postal Museum and
Archive.)  Printed in gravure by International Security Printers, 56 x 25 mm, with two phosphor bands, self-adhesive.

These will be on sale from machines Spring Stampex.  In addition to the set of 6, a single-design roll will be available featuring the Locomotive.  Unlike the set of 6, the base stamp will be digitally printed.  The service indicators and datastrings will be printed by machine in all cases.  For more information see our blog.

Products issued

The labels will be used in Post & Go machines at Post Offices around the country, and from the Royal Mail machines at Spring Stampex.
A mint set of 6 x 1st will also be available from Royal Mail's Tallents House Bureau in a pack similar to a presentation pack. All values in the pack are 1st Class and the details are printed in gravure.

Royal Mail will again produce a First Day Cover and official First Day Postmarks for these stamps.

Special Postmarks
Postmarks available for the day of issue are shown here. These are not to scale. These postmarks cannot be obtained after the date of issue.  (More may be published later.)

First Day postmark for Transport Heritage stamps.
Postmark showing wheelks. 

Postmarks showing locomotive and TPO transfer apparatus.
Postmark showing a biplane .
Ref FD1603TH Philatelic Bureau Official Postmark with text POST & GO 2016 Ref FD1603PL Official Letters, Garve, first day postmark with design showing parts of several wheels.
Ref L13709
Royal Mail Heritage Transport
London NW1
Ref L13710
Post and Go Postal Heritage
London W2
Ref L13711
Post and Go Postal Heritage

All the handstamps dated 17 February may also be used on FDCs for these, including those shown on the Royal Mail 500 page. except those with FD numbers.  See especially numbers 13709 and 13735

This page updated 24 January 2016

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