Friday, March 5, 2021

Mystery parcel piece - where to, and what service?

The piece shown has stamps on to the value of £18.30 and was posted on 7 August 2001.  It probably isn't philatelic, otherwise the stamps would be soaked off and in albums.  So what and why?

Piece of parcel wrapper with £18.30 in postage - 2001.

Fortunately the website of the Great Britain Philatelic Society has a comprehensive (but not yet complete) set of postage rate tables, at least post-war.  

My first thought was that for it to be this expensive it must be a parcel, or overseas sending (or both). A look at the inland parcel rates disproved this.  And a look at the packet and letter airmail rates for all destinations was equally fruitless.

It didn't help that I read the date as 7 AP 01, when it seems in fact to be 7 AU 01 - significant as rates changed in July 2001.

I eventually tracked it down to the exact rate for a Special Delivery letter/packet/parcel between 2kg and 10kg, with minimum compensation of £250.

The whole exercise too less than 20 minutes: yes, postal history is a little time-consuming, but very rewarding.   It would have been more attractive with the SD label and address, but one can't have everything.  It certainly wouldn't have been easy to keep the whole wrapper!