GBPS Discussion Boards

Mourning Mail
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Author:  Robinr [ Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Mourning Mail


My discovery of postal history continues with a single mourning mail cover from Glasgow. My limited library resources have nothing on mourning mail, so any insight will be greatly appreciated.

The attached cover was posted in Glasgow to the Queens Park part of Glasgow, where it was marked "Not Found", and four days later was given a CDS from Glasgow Southern D.D. I don't know whether the "Not Found" refers to the address or the addressee... I'm not trying to be funny (but I certainly see the irony), but since there was no return address, and the letter presumably ended up in a local sorting office, was this a "Dead letter"?

And I've been unable to trace Southern D.D. I guess the second D is for District, but...

Finally, is the knowledge that will enable an answer to these questions derived and accumulated from long experience, or is/are there any literature that will at least guide me along the way?

Warmest thanks and best wishes to whoever can help with some input!



Author:  mozzerb [ Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Transfer from previous board: original post 2015

It wasn't disposed of, so would have made its way back to the sender, presumably because the Glasgow Returned Letter Branch opened it to get his/her address from the letter.

"Not found" would usually refer to the address -- since the Post Office deliver to that rather than the addressee, presumably on the basis that it's not their call to say who is and isn't addressable there. It might conceivably have got that note if the person actually at the address returned it.

The cds would be "Southern D.O." for District Office -- Glasgow was one of the cities split into postal districts in the style of London:

I think answering these questions tends to be a matter of accumulated experience, sadly. :)

Author:  Robinr [ Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Transfer from previous board: original post 2016

Thanks a ton Maurice, you are great! But you sidestepped the question, "Is this a Dead Letter?"

Yes, I can see how it is a matter of amassing experience.What is fascinating is how the whole world of philately gets richer and more layered the further in one digs. Sure, that's true of almost anything where a pursuit of knowledge is possible, but a characteristic of philately it seems to me is that it need not cost more with each layer. In fact it can cost less in most instances.

The area where it costs increasingly more is the most superficial layer of all, just collecting!

Cheers, Robin

Author:  Tony [ Wed Oct 14, 2015 1:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mourning Mail

This may not be entirely relevant, but in my accumulation of Postal History items (it cannot yet be dignified with the appellation 'collection' !) I have several mourning covers. One aspect I have noticed is that the width of the black perimeter varies, from just visible to about a centimetre. I have enquired about this, and have been given three possible answers, to wit :

1) The printer doing them as cheaply as possible (for the really narrow band)

2) It refers to the period since the death of the person concerned

3) It refers to the closeness of family ties between the deceased and either the sender or the recipient.

Can any kind soul point me in the direction of an on-line resource that would answer this query, or else let me know which (if any) of the above scenarios is closest to the truth, please ?

Many thanks


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