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:

RE14053 RE14058 RE14068First Clacton Cycle Mail stamps (1983 / 1984)

Even the two non-“cycle mail” stamps show bicycles:

RE14092 RE14093

On some stamps the manufacturer/make/type of the bicycle is additionally mentioned , e.g. Raleigh Roadster, Alex Moulton, Ordinary 1870 – 90, …

The standard rate for a letter was 10 p. Express stamps for 20 p guaranteed a speedy delivery on the same day…


… most important on Christmas 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 date of the first issue is always determined and FDCs are produced …

… as well as stationeries:


The designers are mentioned on the stamps and their signatures could be found on cardboard-paper prints:

Family Trinder (Ivan, Joseph, Sarah, IFT = Ivan Trinder) ...........................

........ and winners of design contests: James Bates, John Link, Gary-Ballard, Ian Groves (John Moore, Tricia Bowler, Jane Sandland, ...)

Sheets with tête à bêches were created …



... proofs on cardboard in black print ...


... and in different color of ink and papers




Stamps without gum or different paper types as well as errors like double prints

or wrong letter size


sheets with no postal need (a combination of a 10 p and 1 £ stamps) ...



... or combinations with the Colchester issues (scout Christmas/Cycle mail)!?



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" …

RE14092 RE14093

… - 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.

On this website the Clacton issues are listed in the above chapter CATALOG. For access just ask for registration per email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and thereafter you could login.

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:

(please click on the picture if you like to see more)

In 1988/1989 “The Trinder Organisation”

switched to Colchester strike and scout items:

(please click on the picture if you like to see more)

References/External links:

Spoken Word,
10th Issue (pages 14 – 21)

BS magazines no.:
1 / page 38 ...,
2 / page 42 ...,
3 / page 43 ...,
4 / page 44 ...,
5 / page 48 ...,

Le cycle et la poste, Jean-Pierre Mangin et René Geslin

Bicycles on Stamps; The local, military and non-postal issues; Special catalogue, 1994 – Marco Tibbe