On 1st October 2019 we are delighted to be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Guernsey's postal independence. We are marking this special event with an exhibition of stamp artwork at St James. Featuring a wide selection of our stamp issues the exhibition is a must for anyone interested in art, design, history or stamps. The exhibition is free and runs from 2nd October to 31st October. Please check www.stjames.gg for opening times.
Here is a brief look back at our fifty-year journey...
Until 1969, Guernsey's postal service was overseen by the (British) General Post Office. On 1st October 1969 and coinciding with the abolition of the General Post Office, Guernsey achieved its postal independence.
The effort to establish an independent post office for Guernsey had begun nine months before its culmination. Local politician Peppino Santangelo was the driving force behind the change and chose Bill Sexton to lead the organisation. Santangelo served as president of the States of Guernsey Post Office Board.
The main Guernsey Post Office remained in Smith Street, but the back-room operations were relocated to an office in Le Truchot, St Peter Port.
In 1980, the Island's then red post boxes were painted a distinctive Oxford blue to complement Guernsey Post Office's new branding and image. The exception is Pillar Box number 1 in Union Street, which has retained its original burgundy colour and is the oldest working post box in the British Isles.
In March 1984 Guernsey Post Office opened its purpose-built headquarters at Guelles Road. Over the years to come mail volumes grew at an exceptional rate and Guernsey Post Office announced its intention to introduce postcodes. The introduction of postcodes in 1993 was made in anticipation of automated sorting equipment the investment of which did not happen until eight years later due to space constraints.
In 2001, the States of Guernsey incorporated the Guernsey Post Office and the new organisation became a Limited company. At the same time the newly named Guernsey Post Ltd was awarded the licence to provide the Universal Service Obligation (USO) in an increasingly competitive market place. The new company structure was designed with the intention of the business operating with increased flexibility, ensuring it would be better equipped to respond to the challenges of a modern market place.
In 2002, Guernsey Post moved into its current purpose-built headquarters closely followed by the first automated sorting machines with the ability to handle up to 35,000 letters per hour. Further investment in 2014, due to the growth of bulk mail exported from Guernsey, resulted in two new machines which more than doubled the Company's sorting capacity.
In 2016 Guernsey Post announced plans to convert its delivery fleet from diesel vans to all-electric vans which was achieved in just three years. As part of the Company's ambition to generate and use renewable energy and in partnership with Guernsey Electricity, the largest solar array in the Channel Islands was installed on the roof of Postal Headquarters. The solar array, which is due to be switched on in October 2019, will generate the equivalent amount of energy required to power Guernsey Post's entire fleet of electric vehicles.
Guernsey Post 50 year timeline
Prior to 1969 Guernsey's postal system was overseen by the British General Post Office. Peppino Santangelo was appointed President of the States of Guernsey Post Office and was instrumental in achieving postal independence.
|1st October 1969||Postal independence.|
|1st October 1969||70,000 First Day covers were prepared, people queuing for three hours at Smith Street, 160,000 stamps and 13,000 covers were sold|
|1980||Guernsey Post rebrand and painted post boxes from red to blue|
|1984||Guernsey Post Office opened its purpose built headquarters at Guelles Road|
|1993||Postcodes introduced in line with the UK|
|2001||Guernsey Post commercialised and moved to Envoy House|
|2003||Fully automated sorting machines installed January|
|2011||Guernsey Post introduce two new services EBOX and Safeplace|
|2014||New automated machines installed (Barry and Terry)|
|May 2017||First electric van introduced|
|August 2017||Guernsey Post donates over 50 bikes to The Eleanor Foundation|
|January 2018||Gold IIP award for continual improvement and focus on people|
|October 2018||Guernsey Post and Guernsey Electricity announce plans for a new partnership – Guernsey Post HQ will have the largest solar array in the Channel Islands|
|July 2019||Guernsey Post win UK Motor Transport Award – Low carbon award|
|2019||Complete Electric fleet achieved|