Despite the wide ranging publicity from the Royal Mail for the forthcoming stamp issues, their colleagues in the Post Office fail to rise to the occasion with what is now becoming their regular response of apathy and ignorance. Today's experience at Dudley Post Office was to be told that the set of six "House of Windsor" stamps was only available by purchasing a presentation pack with a 50p premium on the face value. When challenged I am told that "they" had not delivered any sheets of stamps! I suspect they were still in the storeroom and couldn't be bothered to take them out for the last hour of "service". The counter clerk would have happily sold me as many copies of the Diamond jubilee sheet - not issued until next week - until his manager intervened. I was just seconds away from a pre release cover!!! Another letter of complaint is on its way to the customer care team. I only hope they read the contents of this one before sending out the standard letter of apology (with no promise of action).
Better news on the postmark front. This week's bulletin lists a forthcoming Dudley pictorial postmark for the Briton's of Distinction issue - the first Dudley postmark for a couple of years. It will be associated with the Thomas Newcomen stamp. There is a working replica of a Newcomen steam engine at the local Black Country Living Museum. These engines were used to pump water from the mines during the eighteenth and nineteenth century and were once a familiar part of the landscape. If this sort of thing "floats your boat" then you might want to have a look at the BCLM website: http://www.bclm.co.uk/It will mean a trip down to the museum shop in the the next week to buy up any postcards they have of the engine. I think it will make anice maximum card.
The Newcomen Engine at BCLM & Dudley postmark
My GB postal stationery collection is about to experience a severe examination and assessment, at the hands of by my recent 99p bargain acquisition from eBay entitled "Postal Stationery of Great Britain" by T. Brightmore. It is a 74 page listing of all stationery envelopes, cards, aerogrammes, letter cards, and letter sheets. My initial enthusiasm will no doubt suffer deflation when I come to realise how little I have in relation to what has been produced!