Member ExhibitsPostal History

A postal experiment for Xmas!

Derek Williams reminds us about the experiment back in 1902 whereby members of the public could hand in items, between the dates of December 17th and 22nd, for local postal delivery on Christmas Day. Special postmarks were introduced accordingly.

The town of Rochdale was selected for the trial and for six days prior to Christmas week, greetings to local addresses could be handed in for delivery on Christmas Day.

A detailed history of these Xmas postmarks is available at the following link.

 The experiment was discontinued in 1910.

Derek confirms specifically that two types were used in his home town of Warrington, between 1903 and 1909; in fact, Warrington was actually one of the last towns to use the scheme. Examples are shown below along with some more recent Xmas cancellations.

The example shown in fig 1 is the oval with “POSTED IN ADVANCE FOR DELIVERY ON CHRISTMAS” W.A. 1905.

Fig 1. Postcard stamp ½d. Green Edward VII posted locally and delivered locally.

Fig 2. Cover with a circular cancel with a large “X MAS WARRINGTON 1909”.

These two postmarks are generally difficult to find, especially for Warrington.

These are other typical Christmas cancels from the 1940’s through to the 90’s.

Fig 3 “POST EARLY FOR CHRISTMAS” 1949 & 1950 George VI 1d RED

Fig 4 Design for the 1950’s postage 2d. Queen Elizabeth II

Fig 5 1960 Queen Elizabeth II

Fig 6 1970’s design “A HAPPY CHRISTMAS THE POST OFFICE” Machin design 2½p decimal.

The design remained the same up to 1990. All the post marks are from Warrington.