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 Post subject: Posted out of course
PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 7:00 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 6:00 pm
Posts: 153
Dear Registered Mail experts,

As I understand it, 'Posted out of course' means that somebody has crossed a cover with blue lines to register a letter, affixed the correct value postage stamps, but dropped the letter in a post box - instead of being handed over to the post office person - presumably because the post office was closed. The letter was then regarded as having been posted incorrectly and surcharged the cost of a registration.

The attached cover has been marked as posted out of course and surcharged 3d.

This is actually the only cover I have like this, and I can find virtually no reference to the system in the literature. So I have nothing to help me with my question...

What puzzles me is that the letter has a registered label affixed, and a number written on it. I take this to indicate that the letter was registered in a post office. Should I then infer that the person sending the letter walked out of the post office and dropped it into a post box?

Is the cover all in order?

Thanks very much for any help.


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 Post subject: Transfer from previous board: original post 1295
PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 7:00 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 6:00 pm
Posts: 104
Somewhat stream-of-consciousness thoughts below! (Only just avoided posting one silly comment when I took a closer look.)

Yes, the cover's fine. 'Posted out of course' does (or did) mean exactly what you say when referring to registered mail (you could also have posted out of course parcels, I understand). Basically, it was applied to a letter found in the box that had indications that it was supposed to have been registered -- either somebody wrote the word on the envelope, or added blue lines of their own (normally the clerk did this).

It didn't have to be fully stamped for the normal registered mail rate -- but POOC items usually were, of course, because the most common reason for this happening was that someone dropped a letter they'd meant to register in the box by mistake.

However, once it had been spotted and registered it had to be forwarded as any other registered letter would have been, except with a surcharge. It was charged a double registration fee, so if the letter was fully stamped at the normal rate the unpaid amount was a single registration fee. If the letter was actually paid with double the registration fee (I've seen it done) there would be no surcharge at all.

Transmission as a normal registered letter meant that it needed a label, and this was added by the post office doing the registering. Having taken that closer look it was posted at Rottingdean, an office under Brighton, and presumably not found until it arrived at the Brighton sorting office since it has a Brighton label with a 'sub-office' number 39. Head offices would quite typically allocate a sub-office number to 'back office' registation work. This one is an obsolete type of label -- by this stage they'd gone to fully printed sub-office numbers on coil labels -- so presumably they were using up old stock.

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