Royal Mail issues second set of stamps to commemorate First World War

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Royal Mail presents the second part of its landmark, commemorative programme marking the outbreak of the First World War. Each year of the war is explored though a stamp which covers six key themes: Poppies, Poetry, Portraits, War Art, Memorials and Artefacts.

The stories of the War are told through imagery including historic memorials, artefacts that have become synonymous with the conflict, portraits of some of the participants, art showing some of the famous and moving scenes of the conflict, and newly-commissioned artworks of poppies – the symbol of Remembrance – from renowned artists such as Sir Howard Hodgkin.

These themes combine to form a poignant collection which serves as a fitting way to commemorate the tragic conflict. Continue reading

So Whistl couldn’t pick up all those postbags in its vans 

As fans of Postman Pat know well, usurping a regular postie and delivering letters to people’s homes is trickier than it looks.

This was a lesson learned repeatedly during series two of the children’s animated television show – especially episodes 26 and 27, where first Pat’s wife Sara tried to do his round for him, and then the rabid capitalists of Greendale attempted to modernise the workplace and send out a robot instead. Spoiler alert: Pat returned to work in episode 28.

Anyway, it is also a lesson now learned by upstart operators who supposedly fancied cherry-picking Royal Mail’s more lucrative markets by delivering mail to our doors. Last week, Royal Mail’s only real rival in this market, the ridiculously named Whistl, effectively abandoned plans to deliver to doorsteps after it couldn’t find anybody to fund its service.

The announcement was terrible news for 2,000 or so Whistl employees now facing the axe but, conversely, rather welcome for Royal Mail workers worried about their jobs, and for the firm’s owners, with the shares shooting up by 3.9%.

Source: So Whistl couldn’t pick up all those postbags in its vans … | Business | The Guardian

Royal Mail to deliver bad news on profits

Royal Mail is expected to reveal the brutal impact of fierce competition in Britain’s postal market this week when it unveils a dramatic slump in profits.

City analysts expect Royal Mail to report a 16pc fall in annual operating profit before one-off charges to £562m despite the demise of two rivals.

The weaker performance by the 500-year-old postal service is expected even though it has taken on extra parcel volumes following the collapse of CityLink in December last year and the suspension of delivery services by Whistl last week. It is now handling more than 2m extra letters a day.

The Royal Mail, which floated on the stock exchange 18 months ago, is under huge pressure from a structural decline in the number of letters. The parcels arm is also being hit by online shopping site Amazon setting up its own delivery service.

Source: SUN Royal Mail to deliver bad news on profits – Telegraph

Whistl suspends post delivery service putting 2,000 jobs at risk

Private postal business Whistl – formerly known as TNT – has suspended its door-to-door delivery service in London, Liverpool and Manchester and is consulting 2,000 workers on redundancy.

The move follows a decision last month by potential investment partner LDC not to fund its expansion plans.

Whistl will continue to provide a service, but will revert back to using the Royal Mail for the “final mile”.

Shares in Royal Mail rose 3.3% after the news was announced.Last month, LDC, a division of of Lloyds Banking Group, decided against investing in Whistl because of “ongoing changes in UK postal market dynamics and the complexity of the regulatory landscape”.

At the time, Whistl said it would hold back from expansion but planned to continue its existing service.

Source: Whistl suspends post delivery service putting 2,000 jobs at risk – BBC News

Royal Mail celebrates the birth of the new royal princess with a special postmark

Royal Mail is issuing a special postmark to celebrate the birth of the royal princess. This is the first time in the company’s history that a postmark has been dedicated to a royal birth.

The new arrival, which was born on Saturday 2nd May at 08:34am at St Mary’s Hospital in west London, is the fourth in line to the throne and the Queen’s fifth great-grandchild.

Royal Mail’s postmark will appear on millions of items of mail delivered nationwide on Tuesday 5th May and will feature the copy ‘Congratulations TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the birth of their daughter’.

Andrew Hammond, Director of Stamps & Collectibles at Royal Mail, said: “The birth of a new royal baby is a momentous occasion so we wanted to honour and celebrate it by doing something we have never done before. We are excited to share the joy with the millions of customers that use Royal Mail every day.”