Saturday, November 14, 2009

Relations between a postman and his datestamp in Morocco

He wished to satisfy a French tourist who was sending a postcard inside an envelope for a friend's son (any reference to my situation is purely fortuitous :p). A Moroccan postman at Meknes-Medina office had some difficulties with the inkage of his datestamp.

Four trials on the A5 left side of the cover. Even the last one, bottom right, shows a beginning of wear in the N of Meknes: its oblical bar is shorter and starts low.

Thank you, postman, for your work.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

First class definitives video of the United Kingdom

Found than to Machin Mania, this video by Chris Phillips was posted last year on YouTube. Subject: the evolution of the simple letter rate in the United Kingdom from 1840 to 2008.

The first part permits to retrieve the British first types, whose surnames are so exotic when a French philatelist find them in a magazine article.

The second part became a color study of the Machin series: 40 years of use during the Western industrial crisis of the late 20th century.

Only a note on my part: about the calculation. Yes, 2008 rate = 86.5 times 1840 rate... but this multiplicator is no information if you do not know if you need 86.5 times salary work to send a letter today compared to the mid 19th.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Postal strike: how to detect it?

In France these days, it smells like postal strike despite not a word in the press.

New mail sorting facilities (said bigger, speeder, cost-killer) are opening. Employees transferred from old centers (said smaller, slower, expensive) are afraid. The Senate is discussing the future of La Poste (privatisation among other things).

Some have an October feeling of slowliness that confirms Postcrossing.

Today, six of my postcards to both Chinas, Australia and the United States have been travelling for a period of twenty to thirty-five... and are still looking for the goal. Normally, three days to allied Western countries to ten days top to Taiwan, certainly the time needed to go round Big China.

Facing such striky problems, Royal Mail found a solution to play the 'a-strike-sir-no-problem' face in front of clients: no date on the cancelling mark like Ian Billings discovered this week.

Selling companies communicated by mail to reassure costumers. promises no problem to send and deliver goods during the newt November strike, or perhaps one/two days for some specific United Kingdom package.

What would be the solutions?

Did the Royal Mail guarantee service for its big senders? Easy to do for collection, sorting and sending from a mail center to another... but for the final step to your mailbox, outside high density populated area?

To use private operators? Either at the cost of the sender not to lose clients. Or at the cost (already in red) of the Royal Mail not to lose the big clients in a context of aggressive competition.

8 November 2009 : today's Sunday Times reports the effervescent activities of small private operators.

A new pictorial cancel from New Caledonia

I do not regret my Summer stamp order to New Caledonia Post and Telecommunications Office. With the last issue notices came my second type of pictorial cancellation from Nouméa.

A little error on the date block: it reads 28 January 2009 instead of 28 October 2009.

The Cocotiers Square appears again with the koisk and the Céleste Fountain. Saint Joseph's Cathedral stands above the town center.

Google Maps helps to locate all this. But it shows that, from the square, you can not see the front of the cathedral's towers. A good pictorial (when well-inked) though.