Clacton Cycle Mail – Cinderella?
In the years 1982 to 1989 volunteers and pupils of the Clacton County High School (CCHS) delivered letters in the Clacton area by bicycle – beginning each year in the first or second December week until Christmas. The idea for this charity mail service came from the teacher and BSC (Bicycle Stamp Club) member Ivan Trinder (Colchester/Essex).
Teacher Ivan Trinder and the team from Clacton Country High School (Yellow Advertiser, 6.12.1985)
From the second year on stamps were used to document payment. It was Douglas Marchant, editor of the “Bicycle Stamps” Magazine, who suggested Mr. Trinder in1983 to add bicycle pictures on the stamps. Mr. Trinder agreed and since 1984 all issues additionally show a bicycle - to the delight of us bicycle stamp collectors:
First Clacton Cycle Mail stamps (1983 / 1984)
Even the two non-“cycle mail” stamps show bicycles:
The standard rate for a letter was 10 p. Express stamps for 20 p guaranteed a speedy delivery on the same day…
The 50 pence stamp was used for packets, parcels and receipt purposes - the 1 £ for …? 1 £ was the maximum officially allowed charge for charity concerns when handling Christmas cards. 50 p and 1 £ stamps on really transported mail might certainly be very rare.
The imperforated Clacton stamps fulfill all our collector wishes:
The designers are mentioned on the stamps and their signatures could be found on cardboard-paper prints:
A paradise for us!? In any case thanks to all volunteers and members of the Clacton County High School for these seven years of exciting "philately" …
… - especially to Mr. Trinder who exhausted all possibilities to maximize the charity benefit. Well done!
But back to the question in the title: are these items cinderella?
Yes they are – per definition: “In philately, a cinderella stamp is "virtually anything resembling a postage stamp, but not issued for postal purposes by a government postal administration”
Clacton Cycle Mail is assigned in category Cinderella to the chapter “local or private postal services”. These services mostly arise from the idealism ("fun") of private individuals or clubs who set up a private postal service for a localized area over a certain period of time, e.g. at Christmas time. This could include the mail transport to the nearest official post office of a postal administration recognized by the International Universal Postal Union:
Letter - delivered to the nearest Royal Mail post office – located in district R6 indicated by the hand-written number in the upper left corner. The Clacton area was divided into 15 (later 18) delivery districts.
Don’t be worried if you have these cinderella in your collection – there is a demand for them from collectors specialized in the topic cinderella. And definitely keep all used/really transported envelopes in your collection - especially if the sender is noted on the back:
In 1988/1989 “The Trinder Organisation”
switched to Colchester strike and scout items:
10th Issue (pages 14 – 21)
Le cycle et la poste, Jean-Pierre Mangin et René Geslin
Chapter 2.318 / page 90ff: LA POSTE CYCLISTE SCOLAIRE DE CLACTON ON SEA (GRANDE-BRETAGNE) - 1982 ET ANNEES SUIVANTES