Friday 26 December 2014

499N. City Link Goes Into Administration.

City Link logo.

  In The United Kingdom, apart from Royal Mail which was privatised in 2013, there are a number of private postal services whose services are available to the the British mail sending public or to commercial companies. Only one, along with Royal Mail, has an international mail service - Universal Mail United Kingdom - the stamps of which have been detailed in a number of previous blogs (the stamps are used for a tourism-based international airmail postcard service) (see Blog of 19 June 2012, and Blogs 295, 314, 426 and 461) but adhesive postpaid labels from some of the other companies can also be found fixed to packages and mail arriving at British addresses. 
  Such labels are, in my opinion at least, of interest to stamp collectors who see their collection as an illustration of the development of postal services in Britain. Not all of the postal services use adhesive labels which indicate the payment of postage (which is an unrefined definition of a postage stamp) and so it is interesting to discover which of the private companies do produce such labels - "stamps".
  One such company whose labels have turned up fairly frequently on my mail has been City Link which was placed in administration on 24 December 2014. The mail had been collected and sorted by City Link and then passed on to Royal Mail for delivery. The company had been founded in 1969 as a cross-town transfer service for Red Star Parcels which was operated by British Rail. A national network of agents was established to collect parcels from railway stations and to deliver on to consignees. The hub of City Link's commercial activities was situated in Coventry and the service operated throughout The United Kingdom plus The Isle Of Man.
  Most mail arrived with white adhesive labels applied to them with the company's logo in black and with the inscription "Delivered by Royal Mail" contained in a rectangle and a number at the lower edge. Both of the examples in my collection have the number C9 10012:-

City Link adhesive label or "stamp"

  I have an appendix at the end of my British definitive collection for inclusion of such items as the City Link stamp and I think the labels are an important part of the philatelic story of the British postal services because they represent the private mail services which provide competition for Royal Mail, itself now a privatised company. The City Link label will no longer turn up on mail with the end of the company and may prove to be an interesting item of British postal history in the future.

City Link transport van.

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