Wednesday 29 May 2024

Bristol Foreign Mail - Part 4 - UPU

The first two covers are from 1873, just before the inauguration of the General Postal Union in July 1875, so rates were determined by individual treaties.  The top wrapper was charged 6d from Bristol to Stockholm in April 1873 - the large red 2½ mark would have been an accountancy charge.  The second cover is from Bristol to Canada in September 1873 and is franked with a 3d stamp.  From 6th January 1870 the postal rate was 3d postage paid, with a fine of 3d if posted unpaid (ie. charged 6d).

The Universal Postal Union began as the General Postal Union in July 1875, and took its current name in 1878, although rates could still vary between UPU and non-UPU destinations until 1892.  The top cover to France sent in 1877 paid 2½d while the lower postcard to Cadiz in 1892 went at the 1d international postcard rate.


Sunday 26 May 2024

Bristol Foreign Mail, Part 3

 Carrying on, the next letter is from Bristol to New York in January 1863.  The postal rate to the USA was 1/- or 24c per half ounce, so this letter was charged 4/- at the 2 oz rate.  Of the 24c rate, 3c went to UK inland postage, 16c went to whoever was providing the packet service and 5c went for US inland postage.  The red "84/CENTS" handstamp indicates how much of the 4/- postage went to the USA, in this case the packet service was American.

Bristol to Bordeaux in August 1865 was 4d, the red oval "PD" cachet indicates that it was "Paid to the Destination".

Another example of mail to the USA, this time in May 1865.  The letter went on an American Packet so the USA were credited with 21c (16c for the packet transport plus 5c for US inland postage).

Wednesday 22 May 2024

Bristol Foreign Mail, Part 2

More foreign mail from Bristol, starting with an entire from Bristol to Bath, Maine in January 1854.  The mail went on a British ship so the USA were credited with 5c for US inland postage.

The contents are accounts for the ship.

Another piece of mail to the USA, from Bristol to Concord via Boston in December 1854.  Again it was transported by British Packet, so of the 1/- (= 24c), Britain kept 3c for inland postage plus 16c for the packet transport, while the USA was credited with 5c for US inland postage.  The letter arrived in Boston on Christmas Day 1854.

The next letter is a Registered covered to Genoa, Italy in September 1862.  The letter went from Bristol to London (red registered marks at Bristol and London) and was paid to the destination (red "PD" mark).  The postal rate was 6d postage (set 1st January 1858) plus 6d registration fee.

Sunday 19 May 2024

Bristol Foreign Mail, Part 1

This is the first of 4 posts with examples of Foreign mail to/from Bristol.  The first cover below is from Swansea to Adelaide, Australia in 1847.  It went via forwarding agents W.E. Acraman of Bristol as indicated by the framed cachets.  The entire says it contains some small sheets of copper, which explains the green stain on the paper.

The letter below is from Bristol to Philadelphia in January 1852, going via Liverpool on the American Packet.  As a result there was 24c due, 3c for British postage, 16c for the American Packet shipping and 5c for US inland postage packet
This next example is from Bristol to Drammen in Norway in June 1854.  The marking indicate that it went via Hamburg.

Wednesday 15 May 2024

Three Town Sub-Offices of Bristol: Newfoundland Street, Queen Square, Woodwell Crescent

Here are three examples of Town Sub-Office (TSO) marks from Bristol, starting with Newfoundland Street from 1909.  TSO marks are often quite difficult to find.

The Queen Square post office opened in 1891 and closed in 1960.

The Woodwell Crescent Post Office opened in 1880 as a Money Order and Savings Bank branch, and closed in 1973.  It was situated around where St George's Road meets Jacob's Wells Road.

Sunday 12 May 2024

Mulready letter sheet from the Bristol Stamp Office, MA49a, 1842

The Mulready letter sheet below, stereo A226, was sent from Bristol to Tetbury in July 1842.

The letter sheet was pre-printed and says that a parcel is to be forwarded by Railway from the Bush Inn.

Wednesday 8 May 2024

Some Bristol Perfins

Here are a selection of perfins used at Bristol, starting with a GWR one used in 1909.  The Great Western Railway was a prolific user of perfins.  Perfins were used to stop stamps being misused or sold back to a post office for gain.

Baker, Baker & Co. were wholesale and retail drapers.  The example below is from 1912.

Robbins were the Imperial Saw Mills in Cumberland Road.  The example below is from 1916.

The envelope below is from the Alliance Assurance Co. in 1922.

The commercial envelope below was sent in 1934 by John Lysaght ltd.

The envelopes below were from Elders & Fyffes, in 1949 and 1951.

The envelope below has a "WILLS" perfin from W.D. & H.O. Wills in 1979.

Sunday 5 May 2024

Etchilhampton (Wiltshire) to Bath to Ryde, Isle of Wight, 1833

The somewhat overwritten cover below was sent from Etchilhampton in Wiltshire to Batheaston, and then redirected to Ryde on the Isle of Wight in August 1833.

Etchilhampton to Batheaston (spelled "Bath Easton") first went in the Devizes Penny Post, receiving an unboxed "No.9" receiving house handstamp and being charged 6d.  It was then redirected to Ryde, receiving a boxed "No.2" receiving house handstamp and being charged 10d.

Wednesday 1 May 2024

Post Office Savings Bank Book

The Post Office Savings Bank came in to being in 1861 when the General Post Office was authorised to undertake savings bank business by the Post Office Savings Bank Act.

The Bank started its history on Monday 16 September 1861 in two small rooms in the Post Office headquarters, St Martins-le-Grand, London EC and in 1863 took over more spacious accommodation in a warehouse at 27 St Paul's Churchyard, EC. With the growth of the Bank these premises too became too small and a new headquarters was built at 144 Queen Victoria Street, EC in 1880. This sufficed until 1903 when a move was made to a new building in Blythe Road, West Kensington. This building continued as the main address of the Bank until the late 1960s, although additional accommodation in West London, Harrogate and Manchester was necessary at various dates.

In the ensuing years the Government Stock Register, the Post Office Register, and annuity and insurance business were added to the Bank's services and its administration became the responsibility of the Savings Bank Department of the Post Office with, from 1935, a Director of Savings in charge.

By the Post Office Act 1969 the Savings Department was hived off from the Post Office and re-constituted as the Department for National Savings, reporting to Treasury ministers.

 Here is a damaged example of a Deposit Form for the Post Office Savings Bank for a pupil at Skilgate Parochial School near Taunton.  It is damaged at the side and the stamps were probably added later.

Sunday 28 April 2024

Watching the Coronation in 1952 and other commercial items

It is sometimes the odd ephemeral item that is of interest.  The sheet below has a couple of items, the top one being an envelope from 1855 with a printed seal for the Somerset Archeology & Natural History Society which had been founded some six years earlier.

The second item is more interesting to my eyes - it is a receipt for a Philips 12" table tv and an aerial dated 30th May 1953.  I assume it was to watch Queen Elizabeth's Coronation on 2nd June 1953.  The cost (£65 for the TV and £10 for the aerial) are equivalent to what can be paid today (£2,250 and £340) for a large TV and aerial installation.

 Below is an example of a receipted invoice sent as Printed Matter by Spiller & Webber, Taunton.  What is interesting today is the commercial practice of customers being invoiced later, even when bought at the shop.


 Here is an example of a commercial envelope advertising Johnston's Patent Corn Flour in 1900.

The sheet below is not of much interest unless one notices that the two receipts may well be from an ongoing family firm in Yeovil spanning 100 years.