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Europe/Great Britain : Unintended Humor of GB FDCs

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Winedrinker
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08 May 2016
10:51:36pm
First Day Covers that can't be obtained on the first day seems cruel and unusual. But due to the Post Office Strike of 1971, that was the case. And I am a bit confused here: The stamps were released on 15 Feb, In the middle of the strike. If no one was working the post office, how did the "15 Feb 1971" post marks get applied? Were they applied at some date afterwards? And if so isn't that cheating? Kind of like signing an incorrect score card.

The words "Posting Delayed by the Post Office Strike of 1971" on a First Day Cover is interresting.

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Post Office Strike was from 20 January 1971 to 7 March 1971.

Eric

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cornerpost
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09 May 2016
11:35:41am
re: Unintended Humor of GB FDCs

Eric,

As I remember it - and time may have dulled the memory - only the Post Office delivery workers (postmen/postwomen) were on strike. Most sub-Post Offices were working. Sub-postmasters were 'agents' (i.e. self-employed) not employees of the Post Office. They received the stamps as normal (in time for decimalization - when the UK went from pounds, shillings and pence to pounds and 'new' pence). Many rural sub-offices received their incoming post from the local head office and then sorted for their rural postmen to deliver the mail to the local area. My local sub-office had 2 local postmen who refused to go on strike (and thus got paid for doing very little, and many days nothing, only having mail posted locally for delivery locally to deliver). I made up a first day cover and posted it to myself and had it delivered after being cancelled by the local post office on the first day of issue (in the hope that one day it would be valuable - silly me) but at least I do have a genuine FDC.

Any that the Philatelic Bureau held were posted with the 'delayed' cachet that you have.

Hope this helps,

Best wishes,

Merv

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Winedrinker
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09 May 2016
01:43:55pm
re: Unintended Humor of GB FDCs

Thank you Brechinite and Merv for the clarification. Good information it is.
I may be posting a King Edward VIII abdication FDC soon, as well as a 25 year anniversary of the abdication FDC. The idea of commemorating an abdication strikes me as very much in the unintended humor range. Like celebrating the day you had a root canal.

Eric

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cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
09 May 2016
04:46:44pm
re: Unintended Humor of GB FDCs

" .... Were they applied at some date afterwards?
And if so isn't that cheating?
Kind of like signing an incorrect score card. ...."


Yes, more than kind of .....
It has been obvious for some time that FDCs are actually processed not only before, and sometimes after the supposed date of issue, but quite often at some central facility miles away from the "FDC" city thus rendering them to the category of contrived gimmickry. Their devaluation follows as is shown by the frequency they are damped on the resale market.

Their original purpose, to document the first official use has long been discounted as postal agencies have become used to announcing the projected date long in advance unlike the situation a hundred or so years ago when new issues, or new plates of the same issue, were put into circulation as if it was a national security matter. Then collectors sought covers that could document the FDC or the EKU, (Earliest Known Usage ), as new looking items suddenly appeared with neither forewarning nor any official timely announcement.
To me personally, FDCs provide an inexpensive source for certain varieties not otherwise available in the market place to compare with used examples, especially Machins from bulk lots being identified.
As for humor, the joke is on collectors.

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".... You may think you understood what you thought I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you think you heard is not what I thought I meant. .... "
ikeyPikey
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09 May 2016
05:27:37pm
re: Unintended Humor of GB FDCs

Quote:

"... unlike the situation a hundred or so years ago when new issues, or new plates of the same issue, were put into circulation as if it was a national security matter ... new looking items suddenly appeared with neither forewarning nor any official timely announcement ..."



Clearly, it was not so much a new plate number being kept secret as a failure to imagine that anyone (outside of the bookkeeping department) could possibly care.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey

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cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
11 May 2016
08:43:46pm
re: Unintended Humor of GB FDCs

Sure Ike, but when certain collectors wrote letters
and asked questions they often got nowhere.
Or, at best, incomplete information.
The cause may well have been an inability
to conceive the idea that anyone would care
so no real records were kept,
or simple bureaucratic bullheadedness.
It reminds me of trying to file an FOIA request
for data that has absolute zero need
to be treated as if it were a state secret
and we were agents of Che Guerava.

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".... You may think you understood what you thought I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you think you heard is not what I thought I meant. .... "
        
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