Notes from the Past

Christmas Mail

In the early years of the century the British Post Office operated in certain towns a scheme by which mail could be posted in advance for delivery on Christmas Day.  Special postmarks were applied to explain the delay in delivery.  The scheme began at Rochdale in 1902, spread to various other Lancashire towns, found its way north to Glasgow, and south to Reading, but came to a sudden end in 1909 and was never repeated.  The reason for abandoning it is believed to be that the scheme was too successful; that it was becoming physically impossible to deliver all the mail on Christmas Day.  In recent years Christmas Day deliveries have themselves been abandoned.

Special cancellations are applied to Christmas mail at two American post offices -- Christmas, Florida, and Santa Claus, Indiana.

- R. J. Sutton 6th edition revised by K. W. Anthony
The Stamp Collector's Encyclopaedia
Published 1966
 Posted January 22, 2000 

Index of 507 Notes from the Past

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