Royal Mail is to mark the 170th anniversaries of the first publication of ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens and the first Christmas card ever sent with special postmarksThe postmarks will be printed on millions of postmarked letters and parcels in the run up to ChristmasThe postmarks will also highlight Royal Mail’s last recommended posting dates for Christmas; Second Class – Wednesday 18thDecember, First Class – Friday 20th December and Special Delivery – Monday 23rd December.
Historic UK anniversaries are being celebrated by Royal Mail this Christmas, with postmarks that will feature on millions of items of postmarked mail nationwide.In the run up to festive period, Royal Mail will be printing special postmarks on letters and parcels to commemorate the 170thanniversaries of ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens and the first Christmas card ever sent.‘A Christmas Carol’ was first published on Tuesday 17th December 1843. Set in Victorian London during the 19th Century and telling the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, the book initially sold six thousand copies when it was first released. It is now enjoyed around the world by millions of people through various film and TV adaptions.The postmark will read ‘1843 – 2013 Celebrating 170 years of A Christmas Carol’.
Celebrating the first Christmas card:This year also marks the 170th anniversary of the first Christmas cards ever sent. In 1843, Sir Henry Cole, a lifelong civil servant, commissioned the first Christmas card. Three years earlier, he played a key role in helping introducing Royal Mail’s Penny Post service.Only 1,000 of these cards were printed and sold for a shilling each – this meant that they were a luxury item and were not within the means of the working class.The postmark, which will be printed on postmarked mail delivered from December 21st to December 24th, will read‘1843-2013 Celebrating 170th anniversary of the first Christmas card sent’.The anniversary comes as Royal Mail has found sending Christmas cards remain popular. Independent research from One Poll commissioned by Royal Mail found an overwhelming 72 per cent of people would prefer to receive a traditional card to any electronic festive greeting sent through social media channels. The survey also found people on average expect to send 18 cards.
Royal Mail will also be helping customers to post in time for Christmas with postmarks featuring this year’s last recommended posting dates. They are:
Second Class – Wednesday 18th December
First Class – Friday 20th December
Special Delivery – Monday 23rd December
Stephen Agar, Managing Director of Consumer and Network Access at Royal Mail, said: “We’re really pleased to be marking these historic anniversaries, which have both played significant roles in shaping the UK’s cultural and social landscape.“Our postmarks are a special way of commemorating important moments and we are proud we can mark occasions in this way and share them with our customers on their mail across the UK.”