Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Bristol IMPs: Introduction of PostJet printers in 2008

After trials in Leeds, IMPs nationwide were converted from Cueprint printers to use Postjet printers between April and October 2008.

Not all the IMPs were changed at the same time.  Bristol implementation started with IMP 3 in May 2008, followed by IMPs 1, 4 and 5, then IMPs 6, 7 and 8.  IMP 2 continued to use the original Cueprint printers into September 2008.

Initial implementation used a "Bristol" 4-line date block (no "Royal Mail") ...

... before cutting over to a "Royal Mail / Bath Bristol / Taunton" 6-line date block, with the "T" of "Taunton" under the "B" of "Bath".

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Bristol IMPs: Test Images

A couple of different test images have been used on the IMPs - these probably should not have been used on live mail.  The first, shorter one, is titled "IMP / PREFLIGHT / Test Image / First Printer" and appears on the back of envelopes.

The second, longer one, is titled "IMP / PREFLIGHT / Test Image / Second Printer" and appears on the front of envelopes.

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Bristol IMPs: Reduced Form cancels

In September 1997 it was found that on small envelopes the ink used for the postmark (which is printed a fixed distance from the top of an envelope) was interfering with the phosphor reaction of the ink used for the tagcode (which is printed a fixed distance from the bottom of the envelope).

To overcome this problem a Reduced Form of postmark was introduced for envelopes less than 106mm in height.

This first sheet is for "Bristol" ...

... followed by "Bath Bristol" ...

... and "Bath Bristol    Taunton".  The format for this form of cancel varied, the ones below from 1999 & 2000 had a narrow gap between "Royal Mail" and "Bath" ...

... while these from 2002 had a wider gap.

Sunday, 20 October 2019

Bristol IMPs continued

At any one time not all the Filton IMPs used the same cancel.  One can identify which IMP a particular cancel came from by looking at the first digit of the 8-digit code at the bottom of the date block.

Between April and July 1998 a "Royal Mail / Bath / Bristol" cancel was in use (IMPs 5 & 2 shown) ...

... and from January 1998 a "Royal Mail / Bath Bristol / Taunton" cancel was being used (IMP 3).

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Bristol and Somerset: Integrated Mail Processors at Filton

The following series of posts have examples of the crossover between Somerset and Bristol ...

From 13th October 1980 second class mail from Taunton was being sent to Bristol to be sorted.  In 1996 eight "Integrated Mail Processors" (IMPs) were installed in Bristol's new mail centre at Filton, going live from May 1997.

The initial cancels were for "BRISTOL" or "Bristol", followed by "Bath / Bristol" (April-July 1998) and "Bath Bristol / Taunton" (from January 1998).

In July 1997 as one of the IMPs was being introduced, it ran for a few days with "Royal Mail / office_line_1" in error.

Here are examples of the "Royal Mail / Bristol" cancels ...

... and here are examples of the "Royal Mail / BRISTOL" cancels.

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Bristol Postal History, Bristol "B" with date

Collecting Somerset postal history, I naturally came into contact with the postmarks of the Offices under Bristol that are in North Somerset (keeping to the old definition of "Somerset").  Things got a bit out of hand and I now collect Bristol Postal History as well as Somerset.  To stretch it a bit further, this includes Offices under Bristol that are in Gloucestershire (whether Bristol itself is in Gloucestershire is a discussion point).

Future posts may well be Bristol related as well as Somerset.  I'll have to alter the name of the Blog !

For information on the postal history and postmarks of Bristol I'm using "The Postal History of Bristol" in 4 volumes, published by the Bristol Postal History Group (information on purchasing this is on their website).

The first postmarks known from Bristol are "B"s with the date in the loops.  Each datestamp is  unique because they were individually carved from boxwood.  Of the 365/6 dates, just over 50 different dates are known, of which 30 are in Archives.

The datestamps are known used from 1697 to 1720/21 and were introduced to be used on the Cross Posts through Bristol, in a similar fashion to the use of the Bishop mark in London.

The two examples below are 22 April used in 1700 and 21 November used in 1719.

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Esperanto (in Bristol)

Here are a couple of items from Bristol with Esperanto connections.  The first, from 1946, has a violet cachet for the 31st British Esperanto Congress in Bristol.

The second item is a pair of first day covers sent from Bristol to Italy in 1963 that happen to have Esperanto stickers applied.

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Minehead, Lynton, Lynmouth

This first cover appears to be from Lynmouth in 1853 (as evidencd by a blue Lynmouth UDC), going via Minehead and Taunton to South Molton.  It is cancelled by a blue Minehead "779" horizontal oval cancel, with yellow backstamps from Minehead, Taunton and South Molton.

This is a little puzzling as other documentation indicates that Lynton (and Lynmouth as a TSO) were under Barnstaple at that time.

This second cover is from Lynton to Portsmouth in 1907 and has a "LYNTON SO / DEVON" skeleton.  Lynton became a sub-office in 1905.

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

"GLASTON / BURY" handstamp, 1794

The "GLASTON / BURY" handstamp below, on an entire dated February 1794, was previously only known used 1796-1798. This entire brings the date forward two years.  The handstamp previously in use at Glastonbury is only known used until 1785 so there is still an eight year gap when no handstamp is known.