Bletchley Park Post Office -  First Day Covers
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BLETCHLEY PARK POST OFFICE
Welcome to a little British Post Office with a big secret!


A brief history of Bletchley Park Post Office.

Around 1900 a small building was added to the side of Bletchley Park mansion to serve as the Butler’s quarters close to the kitchens, cellar and stores.
When Bletchley Park became a top secret code breaking base at the start of World War Two Quartermaster Robert Budd established it as an undercover mailroom.

In those days people kept in touch with distant friends and relatives, particularly those serving overseas, by writing letters. Bletchley Park had to be especially careful that letters sent and received did not provide enemy agents with clues about the work it was engaged on. So the mailroom used undercover PO Box numbers such as PO Box 111 Bletchley and routed mail through different locations to avoid revealing Bletchley Park’s real purpose. Everyone had to follow strict rules and censorship when posting mail overseas.

Around 1947 the General Post Office (GPO) turned it into a sub post office and shop that continued for nearly 40 years serving delegates attending training courses and oblivious to Bletchley Park’s secret past. The GPO later split to become Royal Mail and British Telecom.

When Bletchley Park opened as a museum in 1994 it became the Park’s first ‘gift shop’ and issued the first of its famous first day covers for new stamp issues. These early issues are now much sought after and very valuable.

Bletchley Park is being developed to create a world class museum honouring the vital work than went on there between 1938 and 1945. In keeping with that, Bletchley Park Post Office set about a refurbishment project with a social history focus to give insight into what life was like as part of the “Home Front”.
In May 2012 we were honoured to have the first phase of the project opened by Michael Sefi, Keeper of the Royal Philatelic Collection. Mr Sefi advises the Queen on maintaining what is one of the world’s finest stamp collections. During his speech he revealed that his father was a senior army officer who during WW2 frequently visited Bletchley Park. The Keeper before Michael Sefi was Sir John Marriot and he was recruited as a Bletchley Park code breaker in 1943. So our links with the mail, philately and code breaking have some interesting credentials.

 

“The most famous little post office in the world”?

Certainly if the amount of photographs published on the web is anything to go by. It seems to be a “must have” photo stop for every visitor.
Bletchley Park Post Office is frequently featured on TV and in the press around the world. Royal Mail has also used us for new stamp launches.

Bletchley Park Post Office is run by volunteers with Bletchley Stamp Art providing administration and financial support. Although tiny it takes a team of 20 volunteers to keep it open every day. Specialist collectors and visitors alike enjoy visiting us to browse the gallery and experience what a wartime sub post office was like.

Stamps and first day covers.

Bletchley Park Post Office first day covers and stamp sheets are sought after by collectors around the world.

They provide a unique way of telling the Bletchley Park story, in addition to covering a range of themes and famous names.

Many are mounted and framed to create display and conversation pieces.

Our combination of specially commissioned artwork, stamps and exclusive postmarks are often called “little pieces of art and history”. As hand prepared limited editions they can become worth many times more than the issue price.


Click here to visit the Press Room and publicity photos Click here to use the enigma machine
 

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