September 2016

This month's speaker was Michael Pitt-Payne (pictured above). He brought along 240 sheets from his Introduction to Postal History collection. The first half of the afternoon featured Great Britain material starting with pre Postal reform items, including a cover from 1830 with a postal charge of 1s 6½d. On 5th December 1839 a 4d standard letter rate was introduced and Michael showed items from this period and included items from 10th January when uniform 1d postage was introduced to May 6th 1840 with the introduction of the 1d Black.
On the 1st October 1870 the ½d printed rate was introduced and on 20th April 1940 the postage due was bought into use. Michael cleverly used items from all periods and included pre-paid envelopes, post cards and returned mail to illustrate this fascinating story.
After the break Michael displayed covers from the USA to the UK showing how the postage payments were made between the countries.
He went on to show a fascinating collection of letters/postcards from Reginald Bray who tested the Post Office system by posting all ‘Contrary to Regulation’ type material including possibly the first postcard addressed to 'Santa Claus', which came back ‘Insufficiently Addressed!’ A fascinating and educational afternoon.