Timeline of Key Dates

Throughout the centuries, the basic practice of a messenger carrying mail from sender to recipient has remained virtually unchanged.

Choose a Century, Decade or Year to find out how Britain's postal service developed.


2010 - 2019

Jun 20102010 - Bicycles phased out

Health and safety concerns end bicycle deliveries. Bicycles have been used for postal deliveries since the 1880s.

Jun 201113 June 2011 - Postal Services Act

The Postal Services Act receives Royal Assent. The Act allows Royal Mail to be privatised and the Post Office to be mutalised.

Aug 20122 August 2012 - Gold medal stamps issued

The first Gold Medal Winner stamps are issued. The stamps commemorate the gold medal victories of Great Britain athletes at the London 2012 Olympic Games, and are designed, printed and issued within 24 hours. In addition, a letter box in the home town of each gold medal winner is painted gold.

Aug 201230 August 2012 - Paralympics Gold stamps

The first Paralympics Gold Medal Winner stamps are issued. As with the Olympics Gold Medal Winner stamps Royal Mail designed, printed and issued each stamp within 24 hours - and painted a letter box gold in the home town of each winner.

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Get the basics on a range of postal history topics

These introductory articles cover 400 years of British postal history, including transport, stamps and wartime services.


Mail Rail exhibition

Mail Rail exhibition

An exhibition of photographs capturing the entire Mail Rail network

Mail Rail ran from 1927 to 2003. These images show the hidden network that still lies beneath London.




Buy a souvenir of your virtual visit to the BPMA

Our online shop sells a range of products including postcards, publications, DVDs, posters and gifts.


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