Britons Adjust to Decimal Postage



This exhibit documents the switch from pre-decimal (£sd) currency to decimal (£p) currency using covers from the period of the change. The story starts with franking machines in 1969 with rates denominated in pence (d) only, not shillings and pence. Stamps valued in shillings and pence were invalidated on 1972 March 01. Two later covers show invalid and valid usages of older stamps post 1972 February 29. There was an inland postal rate increase on 1971 February 15 and an overseas rate increase on 1971 July 01. One piece of mint postal stationery is shown as the only example of Post Office issued mixed currency stationery. The exhibitor has not found a used example. The first British postal strike started on 1971 January 20 and lasted until March 07. One example of non-postage due mail on the first day back at work is shown.


Neither strike mail nor stamped-to-order postal stationery is included in the scope of this exhibit. is not included.


The covers are in the best condition for the rates, combination of services, or destination concerned. The exhibitor is looking for a mixed usage Express Registered cover to a less-common European destination in better condition.


Ledger (11" x 17") pages are used so that large covers can be displayed horizontally. The outline is numbered as if double pages were single pages. The lower number referring to the left side of the page and the higher referring to the right side. If printed on A3 paper, there will be distortion of shapes.


The covers are from a short period during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Many postal history dealers stock pre-stamp to 1952. Even though most of the covers are more then 50 years, but still considered "modern" and, erroneously, common.


Frame 1

  1. Title Page and Outline
    Revised Format for Meters
  2. 2 Shilling Express Fee Paid with 10p Cerise Machin
  3. Pre-decimalization Uses of Decimal Stamps as General High Values — Mixed £sd
  4. Pre-decimalization Uses of Decimal Stamps — Full Payment in £p
    1971 February 15: Inland First and Second Class Rate Increase
  5. Inland Registration: Decimal Stamps or surcharge on Pre-Decimal Postal Stationery
  6. Overseas Registration Fee of 15p
  7. Rounding (Exact or not) of Air Mail Letter Rates
  8. First Day after Postal Strike
    Overseas Registration Fee Increase to 20p
    Post 1972 February 29 Usage