Volume 2, Number 8

Irish Philatelic Newsletter

Volume 2, Number 8                                                                                                                                August, 2000

A periodic publication for the members of the Éire Philatelic Association, the Irish Airmail Society, the Irish Philatelic Circle and the Forschungs-und Arbeitsgemeinschaft Irland e.V. The newsletter will be e-mailed to all interested members.

Published and edited by Michael Connolly
IMP Notes 

Maurice Barrett

I can report a new IMP slogan from Dublin. It is worded PAY ESB / by Direct Debit  with the ESB symbol being that company’s corporate logo. ESB is the electricity Supply Board and is Ireland’s state owned electric power generation and power distribution company. 

IMP 19 (D) used machine 1, 17 July 2000 (first day seen), no time 

The dates that I can report are DMC machine 1 – 17 and 18 July 2000 (without the time printed), DMC machine 2 –  18 July 2000.  I have numbered the slogan IMP 19 (D). I think this is the first advertising slogan used by An Post on the IMPs that is not publicising An Post itself.

IMP 19 (D) used machine 2, 18 July 2000 (earliest date seen by me)

I have not seen any Portlaoise slogans from 17 or 18 July 2000 so I cannot report on that Centre’s IMPs.

Referring to my e-mail on IMP 18 (P), I can, thanks to Michael McNamara, report that IMP 17 (P), machine 1 continued in use up until at least 30 June 2000. You will recall that IMP 18 (D), machines 1 and 2 and IMP 18 (P), machine 1 were all seen on and from 23 June 2000.

IMP 18 (P), machine 2 used 19 July 2000. .

IMPs – DMC, machine 1
Maurice Barrett

You will recall that machine 1 at the DMC had not, since late June 2000, been printing the time in the postmark. On and from 27 July 2000 the time had being printed again on machine 1. However, the slogan had reverted to IMP 18 (the euro) for machine 1. I can now report that sometime between 2:00pm and 5:30pm on 4 August 2000, the slogan reverted to IMP 19 (ESB).

IMP 19 (ESB) continues in use on machine 2 at the DMC throughout this time.

Also, the DMC has, since June 2000 I am told, been using a new set of boxed rectangular runner handstamps inscribed AN POST / DUBLIN MAILS. I have seen two difference types in use over the past week.

Maurice Barrett

Two points to note from the IMPs at the Dublin Mails centre, both first noted for 9 August 2000:

The time has not printed in the town die portion for either machine 1 or machine 2

Machine 2 has reverted to the euro slogan while machine 1 continues with what I presume to be the current slogan, Pay ESB …..

I can offer no explanation for the difficulties being experienced at the DMC since late June 2000 in relation to the interchanging of slogans between euro and ESB and cannot explain why there may be difficulties with printing the time.  Can anyone provide answers to these?

All Port Laoise slogans seen by me in the past month or so have all been the euro. I have seen no examples of the ESB slogan used there.

Thanks to Michael McNamara, I can show another version of the boxed rubber handstamp from the DMC referred to in earlier note.  Michael says it’s the only one he’s seen and could be described as the “san serif” version. He thinks it is dated 17 July 2000.

Ireland Bans Low-level Letter Boxes To Aid Postmen
Michael Tuohy

I received this in an email from a friend in Ireland. 

DUBLIN, Aug. 9 (Reuters) – Ireland is banning low-level letter boxes in new buildings in a bid to ease the aching backs of postal workers and couriers.

“From January 1, 2001, letter plates in new buildings must be at a height which will not require a person to stoop to deliver the post,” said Environment Minister Noel Dempsey.

“These regulations will be welcomed by postal delivery workers and couriers alike,” he said in a statement.

New building regulations will require letter boxes to be placed at least three inches (7.6 cm) and not higher than 5.7 in. (14.5 cm.) above standing level outside any door. The ideal recommended height is 4.2 in. (10.7 cm), Dempsey

The Irish postal service, An Post, was not immediately available for comment.

Auction Action

FAI Auction 71
Klaus Stange

For members of the FAI, if you haven’t yet received the new “Die Harfe” No. 71 together with the auction list, have a look at our homepage http://members.aol.com/irlandphil/fai.htm  where you will find the new auction list. 

Closing date: 31 August 2000.

Éire Philatelic Association 
Joe Foley 

                         (Lots not listed were not sold) 





Note: some very low bids were not considered.
Followup To New variety??
Brian Warren

I refer to the illustration of the 10p Great Crested Grebe stamp in the July Newsletter (the New variety?? item. I doubt if this is a missing colour. All litho stamps if exposed to sunlight (leave stamp in a window  exposed to strong sunlight for a couple of weeks or more) will be subject to colour changes or colours being washed out. This is particularly true of reds and browns. Also green will turn to blue.  I suspect this is the case here.
The Editor

In the New variety?? item written by Iben Olsen in the July issue, I listed an incorrect email address for Iben.  His address should have been  Lagoni@adr.dk
The Head Office Is Not Always What You Think It Is
Stan Challis

In Britain and Ireland we have enjoyed since the introduction of the Railway Sub Office in the 1860s the concept of the ‘Post Town’ .  A Post Town is simply the name of the office through which mail is addressed – i.e.: a local sorting office.

The next paragraph is primarily for the benefit of North American readers!

Thus in the USA,  Riva, Maryland presently has its mail addressed simply Riva 23456 (or whatever the code is), MD.  If the British system of addressing, still employed in Ireland,  after 78 years of separation of postal administration, had been adopted by the USPS, Riva’s mail would most likely arrive addressed Riva, Annapolis, Maryland (with no doubt a British Postal code system – let’s be facetious and call it BM7 [for Baltimore] 2XY). Thus we would have a situation in which Baltimore would be the head office for Riva but mail would come via the local post town of Annapolis.  Incidentally, British style postal codes have not been employed in the Republic of Ireland but are used in Northern Ireland, but to explain the workings thereof is not the purpose of this article.  It is however relevant to note that frequently either or both the Head Office and the Post Town (sometimes called an independent postal address) are not in the same county as the rural office served.

Back to business!  Donegal has always been a difficult county for the Post Office to serve – it has always lacked a main line railway and, until the substantial development of Letterkenny in the last thirty years, a focal point, the county town of Lifford being (and my head might roll for saying this) to all intents a suburb of Strabane, Co Tyrone, now in a different country.

The service problem was first acknowledged as early as 1860 when Letterkenny was downgraded from being a Head Office to act a sub office (not even a Post Town) under Strabane, which town had been on the railway since 1847.  The position was in fact restored in 1865 when Letterkenny once again became a head office.  However Strabane was the head office for much of Co Donegal for many years until, after partition, Lifford was upgraded to head office status in 1927 and took over that part of the former Strabane and Londonderry head post office areas lying within the Free State.

In common, I believe with many other collectors, I had always assumed that if the address of a rural office contained the address of a head office (as its post town) then that rural office was in the area under the control of that head office.  Thus one assumes that Lifford was responsible for the control of the office at Killybegs, if the correct address for Killybegs was ‘Killybegs, Lifford’ as it was for many years.

Far from it!  Late last year, I raised questions with regard the control of the office at Ballyshannon, Co Donegal with the Postmaster of that town who kindly put me in touch with John Murphy former Head Postmaster of Donegal. I received a most helpful response and suggest that the information provided by Mr. Murphy, now he tells me an avid golfer in his retirement, not provides a valuable insight into mail delivery arrangements in south west Donegal covering both the effects of the border but also the closure of the railway and merits dissemination to a wider range of enthusiasts.  A précis of his letter to me follows.  Thank you John;  I hope others will find the information you kindly sent will be of interest.

Above all, his letter shows what the concept of the post town is all about.

Information from John Murphy, former Head Postmaster of Donegal Town
Received November 1999

Ballyshannon and district was transferred from the control of Enniskillen to that of Omagh on 1 January 1875

Ballyshannon was subsequently transferred from Omagh to Donegal control on 16 February 1910. But the mail sorting centre for Ballyshannon and south west Donegal was Strabane Head Post Office (Donegal HO was not a sorting centre at that time). Mails for Ballyshannon were at that time conveyed via the G.N. Railway station, while Cavangarden and Rossnowlagh mails were delivered by postmen based at Ballyshannon. Ballintra, Bridgetown and other southwest Donegal offices received their mail direct from Strabane. This accounts for postal addresses Ballintra, Strabane, Bridgetown, Strabane etc.

After the formation of the Free State in 1922 all southwest Donegal offices were transferred from Strabane to Lifford control for mail purposes only with effect from 1 April 1927.  Donegal Town became the Head Office for southwest (Co) Donegal on 16 February 1910 for all other purposes except sorting mail.  At that time Donegal delivered mails for the Donegal Town delivery area but not sub offices.

Ballyshannon received mails from Lifford HO from 1 April 1927 until the County Donegal railway closed on 31 December 1959. From 1 January 1960 Donegal HO took over the sorting of all mails for southwest Donegal (including Ballyshannon) from Lifford HO and that position continues up to the present time.

From 1 January 1960 all mails for southwest Donegal are conveyed by road due to the County Donegal Railway closure.  This was a major change.  So Donegal HO did not become a sorting office for south Donegal mails until 1 January 1960.

ÉPA at Stampshow2000
Michael Connolly

The American Philatelic Society Stampshow2000 being held August 24 through August 27 in Providence, Rhode Island will see a fair bit of activity from the Éire Philatelic Association.

On Saturday, August 26, at 1 p.m., there will be an ÉPA seminar.  Patricia Walker’s “Ireland: Postal History: 1661 through the 1890s” will be shown in the Champion of Champions exhibition and John Pednault’s “The Irish Soldier Always Writes Home” will be in the Single Frame competition.

A fair number of ÉPA members are planning to attend this major show. 

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