Saturday, 24 November 2018

Ferndown - An OLD Stamping Ground?

Stamping ground- a favourite place, allegedly from the habit of animals to trample down a particular patch of vegetation to make an area to rest. [See also ''neck of the woods']
I went to buy some stamps for my Christmas cards. I send hardly any by post these days- almost exclusively to older friends who do not use computers much, or to family members I won't see during the festive season. Everybody else gets an E-X-mas-greeting.
This is the 2018 design- "A wintry scene...a gentleman and a young girl are depicted posting their cards and parcels" said the Royal Mail Website.
All well and good but 
[a] here in Dorset we very rarely get snow like that 
[b] that poor old gentleman may have trouble getting his parcel through the narrow hole-in-the-wall slit! - and how did he know what value stamps to put on his parcel?
[c] I like my Christmas stamps to have Christ on them.
The Royal Mail put out a fresh design each year - alternating between secular and religious. But have stocks of the previous year's design available [for people like me]

Here is last year's design. I asked for 2 dozen of these. "I only have four left" said the assistant. She called to her friend, who replied "I've got none left either"
"I'll take just the 4 you have then" I replied.
"We've got loads of the other ones. But the old people have bought up all the ones with Jesus on."
"Maybe it isn't about being old" I replied "Perhaps it's to do with having faith,  and recognising what Christmas is about?"
I have been thinking about this conversation a lot.
I imagine that the majority of people buying postage stamps [for personal, not business use] are likely to be in the older demographic. People under 30 are more likely to communicate in other ways.
The theme of this year's set of stamp designs is "The Pillar Box" and is based on an anonymous rhyme found on a Victorian Christmas Card
"How doth the little Pillar-Box, at every corner stand, 
and gathers letters all the day, from every sort of hand.
You can find out more about these stamps here. We still have a fair number of postboxes locally- but fewer and fewer Post Offices, which is sad. It makes it harder for older folk, who cannot get to the banks [because the small branches have all closed] and who like to buy things with real cash, and send parcels 'properly' not through an online based courier service.
Personally, I intend to remain one of the Old Ferndown Folk, who insists on Baby Jesus on my envelopes [mind you, I wish they would get away from the pale white European Madonna and child images]
Are you sending many cards this year?


  1. we live in a little village in the middle of nowhere , no shops or post office for 5 miles no public transport , no paths along a busy main road, nearest bank 12 miles no affordable shopping within 15 miles , people really dont get it ...rural poverty is very alive and well

  2. I am constrained this year as our Postal Service is on rotating strikes and has been for over a month now! The Federal Govt. met last night to start legislation to send them back but it will be mid-week at the earliest and apparently there are warehouses all over this huge country filled with backlogs of mail and parcels that will take weeks to clear - so - I will send email cards to many and hand actual cards to those I will see between now and Christmas.
    I don't always insist on a religious themed card but I do insist on 'Merry Christmas". They started doing "Happy Holidays" over here a few years ago but there was a huge backlash and we have returned more and more to "Merry Christmas"!

  3. I don't send many cards, these days, as postage tends to be expensive. Many of the cards I do send are New Year's greetings sent to relatives overseas. :)


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