As we hit 2012, the Royal Mail have begun their bombardment of the unsuspecting public with a wide range of collectibles with which to decorate their loft space for many years to come. The Olympic and Paralympic "definitives" hit the post offices on 5th January, to be followed by commemorative "coin covers", pin badges, key rings etc. etc. etc...
The dilemma they now face is how they will manage the marketing of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee stamps in Olympic year? The resolution has been to send out an edict to postmasters that they should withdraw the Olympic and Paralympic "definitives" from sale at the end of January - prior to the issue of the Diamond Jubilee issue - to be reissued at some point in the summer!
A recent press release from Royal Mail announces that they have created a new E20 postcode district to cover the Olympic Park. Key venues will have their own postcode, and the Olympic Stadium will be E20 2ST. The aim of the new district will be to help the Docklands delivery office sort the mail for delivery at the site during and after the games. A new pictorial postmark featuring the Olympic Stadium, available for the whole year is inscribed with the new E20 postcode district. When I entered the E20 postcode in the Post Office branch finder on their website, I was directed to an area north west of Lancaster, about 250 miles from the Olympic Park. Oh well... still six months to get it right!
Why E20 when there is no E19? The highest eastern postcode district prior to the introduction was E18. Maybe they are planning a "Ghost Town". Another interesting point about the E20 postcode district is that it was allocated to the fictitious " London Borough of Walford" which features in the long running (far too long in my opinion) BBC TV soap opera Eastenders. I wonder if the Olympics will follow the script?
Following the Australian stationery envelope I received the other day, today's post brought me an attractive aerogramme from Malaysia featuring cultural dances. Sent by my friend Adeline, a native of Singapore, who has been "on tour" around Penang. What a nicer way to send a message!