The Postal Museum to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee with a new Post & Go overprint

The Postal Museum is set to release a new overprint on its Post & Go machines to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee.

The Postal Museum/Platinum Jubilee overprint © The Postal Museum

The overprint “The Postal Museum/The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee” will be printed on the multicoloured “Machin 50th anniversary” stamps and will run from 3 June to 1 July 2022.

Each of six anniversary Machin stamps comprises a different colour and will be overprinted with the standard UK first class (up to 100g) value. They will temporarily replace the existing “Mail by Air” stamps for the duration of the overprint. These stamps will be available from the Post & Go machine in the museum’s welcome space, either singly or in strips of six.

The overprint “Mail Rail/The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee” will be printed on standard “Machin first class” stamps of all values. These stamps will be available as a collector’s strip of six and as individual values from the Post & Go machine in the Mail Rail’s welcome space from 3 June to 1 July 2022.

The Postal Museum will be joining other Royal Mail Post & Go sites in offering this Jubilee overprint – the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) site at HMS Victory in Portsmouth, NMRN Submarine Museum in Gosport, NMRN Explosion Museum also in Gosport, Fleet Air Arm Museum in Ilchester, HMS Trincomalee in Hartlepool, The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford Upon Avon and STEAM – Museum of the Great Western Railway in Swindon.

In addition to Post & Go stamps, there will be a limited run of 150 First Day Covers featuring all six of the multicoloured “Machin 50th anniversary” stamps with the new Jubilee overprint. These First Day Covers will be limited to 10 per customer. Blank Covers with a Jubilee Insert will also be available to purchase. All products can be pre-ordered online at shop.postalmuseum.org from 30 May with expected deliveries from 6 June onwards.

Both Post & Go machines are available at The Postal Museum throughout the museum’s opening hours. Please check the full opening hours at www.postalmuseum.org/visit-us/.

New exhibition reveals ground-breaking technology that revolutionised Britain and the post forever

Sorting Britain: The Power of Postcodes
30 March 2022 – 1 January 2023

From wartime tech pioneers to ‘Poco the Postcode Elephant’ the surprising story of the postcode is uncovered in a new temporary exhibition at The Postal Museum in London.

Opening on Wednesday 30 March, Sorting Britain: The Power of Postcodes, delves into the Post Office innovation that revolutionised how post was processed, sorted, and delivered and its unintended outcomes for life in Britain.

Exhibition highlights include:

  • ELSIE, one of the only original 1950s Electronic Letter Sorting Indicating Equipment left in existence, goes on display for the first time in 20 years, as visitors try their hand at coding post.
  • Discover ‘Poco the Postcode Elephant’ which became one of the biggest advertising campaigns of the 1980s.
  • From hearing aids to Colossus – the world’s first programable computer – understand how the Post Office was one of the biggest innovators in mid-century Britain.
  • Stunning unseen maps of London from the 19th century to be displayed.

Postcodes are part of everyday life. They affect everything from communications and identity to house prices and care. Postcodes were trialled in Norwich in 1959, but their story goes back further. The exhibition explains the early postal districts of London, Liverpool and Manchester in the 1850s and 1860s to the modern coding we know today.

Tech pioneers Tommy Flowers, Dame Stephanie Shirley CH and Sir Gordon Radley, were some of the brilliant minds working at the Post Office Research Station at Dollis Hill in the 1930s to 60s. Their impact will be explored, from postal mechanisation and postcodes to inventions like Colossus, the world’s first programmable electronic computer, and even hearing aids.

ELSIE, original 1950s Electronic Letter Sorting Indicating Equipment, will give visitors the chance to try coding the post:

  • In 1960, there were around 28 million letters and packages passing through the postal system every day.
  • With the help of ELSIE and coded post, an operator could sort up to 110 letters a minute, or about 6,000 letters an hour.
  • It contained 144 destination pigeonholes.
  • Around 8 million packages a day were incorrectly labelled, ending up in the ‘Dead Letter Office’ where addresses were traced by ingenious methods.

Visitors can find out about the importance of ‘Poco the Postcode Elephant’ – and the array of incredible memorabilia created for it – which helped change the nation’s habits in the 1980s through a decade-long advertising campaign.

And, finally, Sorting Britain will consider ‘what does my postcode say about me?’, as it delves into how postcodes are now used to sort people, as well as post.

Contemporary British artist, Alison Turnbull, has been commissioned to create a response to the exhibition’s themes. Alison is known for transforming and reimagining readymade information, such as plans, diagrams, blueprints and charts, into vivid abstract paintings.

Chris Taft, Head of Collections said:

“There was a great sense of national pride at the heart of the drive for innovation at the Post Office. The mechanisation of traditional systems, and ultimately the adoption of the postcode system, helped changed the face of Britain forever. Today, the advent of new technology continues to change how we communicate with each other at astonishing speed. Sorting Britain is a fascinating look into this little-known history, told through the wonderful collections at The Postal Museum.”

Sorting Britain: The Power of Postcodes, 30 March 2022 – 1 January 2023

The exhibition will be accompanied by events throughout 2022 at The Postal Museum and online. Details to be announced soon.

Admission included in the ticket price for The Postal Museum (£16 online)

www.postalmuseum.org

Airmail at The Postal Museum

The Postal Museum marks the centenary of Airmail events with Post & Go stamps

LONDON, 30 August 2019 – The Postal Museum has announced today that the Royal Mail Post & Go stamps marking the centenary of several Airmail “firsts” in 1919 – the RAF flights to Cologne, the first flight across the Atlantic, the first flight to Paris and the pioneer flight to Australia, will be available from its Post & Go machine from 11 September 2019.

The stamps featuring the Mail by Air theme, first issued in 2017, will replace the Union Flag design with the ‘The Postal Museum/ Airmail 1919’ overprint.

In addition to Post & Go stamps, a First Day Cover and a Presentation Pack containing a collector’s strip of six 1st class Mail by Air designs will be available to purchase from the museum’s shop and online until further notice, as well as during Autumn Stampex from 11 to 14 September.

The Post & Go machine is available at The Postal Museum during normal opening hours. Please see www.postalmuseum.org for more information.

The Postal Museum NPM 50

Post & Go overprints to mark 50th anniversary of The Queen opening the National Postal Museum available at The Postal Museum

LONDON, 16 January 2019 – The Postal Museum has announced today that Royal Mail Post & Go overprints marking the 50th anniversary of The Queen opening the National Postal Museum, forerunner of The Postal Museum, will be available from its Post & Go machine from 13 February 2019.

Two designs will be overprinted to commemorate the first National Postal Museum being opened by The Queen at London’s King Edward Building on 19 February 1969. The Machin commemorative 1st class in six colours, replacing the standard Machin 1st class, and the Mail Coach in all values. Both designs include an overprint The Postal Museum/ NPM 50 and will run until further notice.

A Presentation Pack containing a collector’s strip of the Machin commemorative design (all 1st class) and a collector’s strip of the Mail Coach (all values) as well as a First Day Cover with 1 x Machin commemorative 1st class, and 1 x Mail Coach 1st class will be available to purchase from The Postal Museum’s shop and on-line from the beginning of February.

The Post & Go machine is available at The Postal Museum during normal opening hours. Please see www.postalmuseum.org for more information.