Norvic Philatelics logo Great Britain: special illustrated and thematic postmarks

This page updated 24 January 2016

The postmarks shown below are in use only on the dates shown. 

US readers in particular should note that Royal Mail normally require that covers to be postmarked are posted to the handstamp centres no later than the day of the postmark except where announcements are late, these will be shown here in red.   Collectors outside the UK are allowed 28 days especially in the case of stamps from new issues being used.
(Whereas the USPS allows collectors 30 days (at least) to obtain copies of cancels, Royal Mail normally allows later application only when their publicity is late.)

The purpose of this page is to list mainly thematic short-term postmarks which are usually not relevant to new stamp issues. Longer term or permanent postmarks, many of which show landmarks in towns and cities throughout the United Kingdom can be found on this page. For other postmarks, related to the new stamp issues, please see the relevant stamp pages via the H_O_M_E page or the links at the head of the table. Some postmarks will be listed both here and on the stamp pages. 

With immediate effect Royal Mail have made their Postmark Bulletin available as a free pdf download.

Published every 2 weeks, the Bulletin can be found at The Bulletin is also available in printed form on subscription at only 12.25 p.a. in the UK.  Buy your subscription here on Royal Mail's website.

NOTE BRITISH FORCES: Return postage MUST be included. For details of new arrangements for obtaining British Forces Special Postmarks see our updated blog entry.
Experience shows that the British Forces postmarks are not suitable for Maximum Cards due to the type of handstamp and type of ink used.

We no longer guarantee to show all new postmarks.


If you would like examples of these postmarks and have stamped envelopes, please do not send them to us!
We cannot forward covers to Royal Mail for postmarking.

One-day and short-term postmarks - in use for less than one week.    Note these postmarks are scanned at different times and are NOT to scale

See also New stamps pages:   Royal Mail 500 set and miniature sheet 17 February; Post and Go Royal Mail Heritage Transport 17 February;
175th Anniversary of the Penny Red and Royal Mail 500 PSB
18 February

Locomotive nameplate FLYING SCOTSMAN.
Postmark showing Up Helly Aa symbol.
Postmark showing a pig.

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Ref N13722 Flying Scotsman, Manchester to Carlisle, Return to the Rails, First Mainline Run, Manchester
In use 23 January only from
North of England Handstamp Centre
Ref S13723 Up Helly Aa, Lerwick.
In use 26 January only from
Scotland & N Ireland Handstamp Centre

Ref W13724 40th Anniversary Farms For City Children St David's Hill, Exeter
In use 27 January 2016 only
available from Wales & West Handstamp Centre

Postmark showing stylised Monkey for Chinese New Year.

Ref L13706. 2016 Year of the Monkey Chinatown, London W1
Available from London
Handstamp Centre on 8 February only

Norvic Philatelics, PO Box 119, Dereham, NR20 3YN, GB.
Phone: 08450 090939 or Skypeme at ian.billings-norvic

If you wish to know when this page is updated, please use the ChangeDetection box at the top of the table to receive an email for all changes. If you have any questions? please e-mail us.
This page updated 24 January 2016

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