Sunday, March 14, 2010

1968: Two-tier post introduced

On 16 September 1968, in an attempt to give them greater flexibility in moving the mail by holding some back for later processing, the Post Office introduced 'Two Tier Post'. First class post would have a target of next-day delivery, while 2nd class would be delivered in 2-3 days, depending on location and volumes. Because most business mail entered the mailstream late in the day, it made sense to segregate out the less urgent and hold it over for processing when there was less volume entering the system. The printed paper and postcard rates were abolished at this time.

Postage rates 16.9.68 to 14.2.71
Up to 4 ounces, 1st class 5d (the 5d blue Machin had been issued on 1 July), and 2nd class 4d. The 4d brown Machin was issued on 5 June 1967 but that had two phosphor bands, and so a new 4d brown with a single phosphor band was issued on 16 September, when the new system was introduced.

The regional stamps were issued before the new system started, on 4.9.68. These continued with the existing Wilding designs.

Wales 5d regional
postmarked Chester 2 June 1970. Some north Wales POs were supplied from Chester, and some north Wales mail was taken to Chester for sorting and postmarking.

Scotland 5d regional postmark Dundee 13 November 1970

4d brown centre band used 27 September 1969

4d brown (2 phosphor bands) with two ½d Machins to make the 5d rate on day one of the new system:

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