Post Office departments and abbreviations (Bristol area)

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Post Office departments and abbreviations (Bristol area)

Post by leamphil »

I collect Bristol postmarks and have come across a number of department names and abbreviations on handstamps that I would appreciate help with understanding. For completeness I've included some that I reckon I do know, as well as my guesses on what the abbreviations stand for.
The dates are those that I have cancels from, not the full dates when the department would have existed (I'd be interested in any of these if known).

1) "BOX OFFICE / BRISTOL" appearing on oval handstamps c.1995-1996 - would this be the department dealing with PO Box numbers ?

2) "BRISTOL / CALLERS OFFICE" on rubber handstamp 1992 - purpose of department ? When might it be used ?

3) "BRISTOL / C.C.O." from 1904 - probably not PO, County Court Office ? [Don't expect anyone to have worked with this !]

4) "BRISTOL / E.D.O." variety of cancels from 1930-1985 - East District Office ? Eastern Delivery Office ?? I guess it could change over time.

5) "BRISTOL / F.S." variety of cancels from 1907 to 1981- Foreign Section

6) "BRISTOL Investigation Duty" cancel from 1980 on P125H slip saying sorry packet has been delayed - what would the Investigation Duty department be doing (it was a postcard from Jersey not a packet) ?

7) "BRISTOL / M.O.O." from 1876 - Money Order Office

8) "BRISTOL / N.D.O." on variety of cancels from c.1920 to 1975 - North District Office ? Northern Delivery Office ??

9) "Bristol PCO" labelled as Repacking office stamp on card saying open parcel was enclosed in plastic sack - Parcel/Package Control Office ??

10) "BS1 PDO" on oval cancels on high value (£15) block of stamps from 2002 - Parcel Delivery Office ??

11) "Postal Coding" / "Postcode Section" department dealing with postcode errors/issues ?

12) "CANCELLED / P.O. Supplies Dept" on an oval cancel of a stamp with a BS IMP cancel from 2000 - what would a PO Supplies dept be doing cancelling an envelope ?

13) "Reporting Office / BRISTOL" oval cancels from 1998-2005 - what is the role of the Reporting Office wrt cancelling mail ?

14) "R.L.B. / BRISTOL" variety of cancels 1885-1967 - Returned Letter Branch
15) "R.L.D. / BRISTOL" from 1970 - Returned Letter Department
16) "R.L.S. / BRISTOL" from 1972 - Returned Letter Section

17) "S.D.O. / BRISTOL 3" from c.1965 to 1970 - South District Office ? Southern Delivery Office ??

18) "Bristol / S.E." from 1977-1985- Bristol South East Office ?

19) "Bristol / Stamp Room" on envelope to sub-office postmaster in 1983 - the department that distributes stamps to sub-offices ?

Looking forward to your help with the above.
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Post Office departments and abbreviations (Bristol area)

Post by POSTMAN »

Good luck! :nervous
It's good to get these types of threads, the ridiculous my manager said bollox so we can reassure ourselves that while the world is falling apart, Royal Mail managers are still being the low life c***s they have always been.
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Post Office departments and abbreviations (Bristol area)

Post by ttsdriver »


I worked at Bristol MLO and WoEMC so have some answers for you.

1) you are correct
2) The callers office was a counter at the MLO for customers to post items/ purchase stamps etc. It allowed late posting of items up until about 9pm.
3} no idea
4) East Delivery Office BS5 Postcode
5) Prob Fgn Section
6) Would guess the item was delayed by a dishonest postie, occasionally bags of mail would be found at a posties property, perhaps the items were then forwarded on to the correct destinations with the card stamped by the investigation branch.
7) ?
8) North Delivery Office BS6 / 7
9) ?
10) ?
11) ?
12) ?
13) The reporting office dealt with damaged mail etc Also lots of stamps would detach from items of mail which would need to be cancelled to prevent re use.
14/15/16 correct
17) South Delivery Office BS3/13
18) South East Delivery office BS4/14
19) ?
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Re: Post Office departments and abbreviations (Bristol area)

Post by leamphil »

Thanks very much - just spotted your reply !
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