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Don’t miss the last posting dates before Christmas

PUBLISHED: 17:06 19 November 2018 | UPDATED: 11:36 20 November 2018

Cathryn West, manager of Cards for Good Causes in Ipswich, and volunteer Barbara Barker getting Christmas cards ready to send. Picture: JUDY RIMMER

Cathryn West, manager of Cards for Good Causes in Ipswich, and volunteer Barbara Barker getting Christmas cards ready to send. Picture: JUDY RIMMER

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Have you started writing your Christmas cards and packing up parcels yet, or haven’t you even started to think about it yet? Either way, you won’t want to miss the last posting dates.

This year's Christmas stamps take the theme of postboxes. Picture: ROYAL MAILThis year's Christmas stamps take the theme of postboxes. Picture: ROYAL MAIL

Time seems to pass very quickly at this time of year, with a host of preparations to do, from ordering festive food to buying and wrapping gifts - so it is all too easy to leave posting to the last minute!

However, many people are making the effort to buy their cards early, and the Cards for Good Causes shop in the Ipswich Tourist Information Centre in St Stephen’s Church is already doing a brisk trade, selling cards on behalf of more than 50 charities including many locally-based good causes.

What are the last recommended Christmas posting dates?

Second-class post: Tuesday, December 18 is the last posting date. This is also the last date for signed-for second class.

The postbox at the post office in WH Smith, Ipswich, has details of Christmas last posting dates. Picture: JUDY RIMMERThe postbox at the post office in WH Smith, Ipswich, has details of Christmas last posting dates. Picture: JUDY RIMMER

First-class post: Thursday, December 20 is the last posting date. This is also the last date for signed-for first class and Royal Mail tracked 48.

Special deliveries: If you miss the last dates, you can still get in under the wire by paying for special services! Friday, December 21 is the last posting date for Royal Mail Tracked 24, and Saturday, December 22 is the last date for Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed.

International delivery: There are a range of different last-posting dates, depending on which area of the world you are posting to. For Africa and the Middle East, the last posting date is Tuesday, December 4, while for the USA, Poland and Canada it is Friday, December 14. For most West European countries, the date is either Monday, December 17 or Tuesday, December 18. For a full list of international last posting dates, see the Post Office website.

Collection times in Ipswich

Collection times do vary between individual post boxes and these can also be subject to change, especially over the Christmas period, so, if you are cutting it close, is worth checking the time stated on the postbox.

In Ipswich town centre, for many postboxes the last collection time is 5pm, but there is a collection from Lloyds Avenue an hour later, at 6pm. The last collection in the town is made from the sorting office in Commercial Road at 6.45pm.

How much will it cost you to send out your cards?

The current price for a standard second-class stamp is 58p, while for a standard first-class stamp it is 67p. Prices vary for larger letters and parcels.

Posting cards is the theme of the Royal Mail’s special Christmas stamps for this year, with the postbox taking centre stage on all six designs. Artist Andrew Davidson illustrated the images, which show a range of postboxes from early 19th-century to contemporary

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