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London Hexagonal Late fees

There was a late fee system in London from the 1790’s. By the payment of an extra 6d a letter could be handed in 7:00pm and 7:45pm at the Chief Office of the General Post after the closing of the mails and secure its despatch the same night. From the late 1850’s to the 1870’s…

The Story Behind A Cover

I recently bought a number of covers from an Indian dealer which included an Air Mail cover addressed to J W Young Esq, OBE.  My interest was aroused when I read the second and third lines of the address: ‘Finance Member, Jodhpur State Council.  The cover was addressed to 16 St James Square, London, SW1. …

Lamu Island Post Office

Lamu Island first came under the British sphere of influence in 1890.  The British had not taken a great interest in East Africa until Germany began to establish a colony to the North modern Etheopia. in 1890, the area around Witu was transferred to the British and along with it, Lamu Island. Witu has been…

Local Commemorative & Local Publicity Slogans

The British Post Office established in 1917 the precedent for using slogan dies as an alternative to bars for cancelling stamps mechanically. However, all the slogan dies used in the United Kingdom before 1956 were connected with national campaigns, or advertised important national or international events. Some slogans, such as those publicising the Royal National…

Origins of Slogan Postmarks in Great Britain

Origins of Slogan Postmarks  Slogan postmarks can be said to go back to the earliest stages of the postal system.  London Bishop Marks were introduced in 1661 and four Receiving House marks were introduced around the same time.  With the introduction of automatic stamp cancelling machines at the turn of the 20th century many foreign countries…

The Registered Post

In the 1780’s a system was introduced in the United Kingdom to ensure the safe transit of letter to and from abroad while in the UK.  In 1792 the ‘Money Letter’ system was introduced.  This provided safeguards for letter containing money although no compensation could be claimed.  Money letters were charged at double the normal…

Swaziland – Piggs Peak

Piggs Peak was named after Wiliam Pigg who discovered gold there. Piggs Peak opened as a postal agency in 1904. The first postal agent was B P A Geldenhuis. It was subsequently upgraded to a sub post office and in 1910 the sub-postmaster received a salary of £120 per annum. In 1923 the postal service…

Tools of The Trade

My first port of call is generally the internet.  I am a member of a number of philatelic societies and many provide some excellent information regarding post marks and cancellations. The Great Britain Philatelic Society: http://www.gbps.org.uk/ have plenty of information including  listings of numeric and duplex numbers allocated to individual post offices throughout England, Scotland,…

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