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West Hartlepool Co. Durham 10.30 AM 8 Nov 1965

West Hartlepool Co. Durham 10.30 AM 8 Nov 1965
The 3 pence (3d) Stamp

I found this example in an old long forgotten album on yet another wet rainy day in North Yorkshire.

The Post Office Tower stamps 3 pence, and 1 shilling and 3 pence (3d & 1/3) went on sale on 8 October 1965, the day the Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, officially opened the Tower. The stamps remained on general sale until 30 June 1966.

The Post Office Tower

The BT Tower is a grade II listed communications tower located in Fitzrovia, London, owned by BT Group. It has been previously known as the GPO Tower, the Post Office Tower, and the British Telecom Tower. The main structure is 177 metres (581 ft) high, with a further section of aerial rigging bringing the total height to 189 metres (620 ft).

Upon completion in 1964, it overtook the Millbank Tower to become the tallest building in both London and the United Kingdom, titles that it held until 1980, when it in turn was overtaken by the NatWest Tower.

Commissioning and construction

The tower was commissioned by the General Post Office (GPO). Its primary purpose was to support the microwave aerials then used to carry telecommunications traffic from London to the rest of the country, as part of the General Post Office microwave network.

Construction began in June 1961; owing to the building's height and its having a tower crane jib across the top virtually throughout the whole construction period, it gradually became a very prominent landmark that could be seen from almost anywhere in London.

Opening and use

The tower was topped out on 15 July 1964. The Tower was operationally opened on 8 October 1965 by Prime Minister Harold Wilson.

As well as the communications equipment and office space, there were viewing galleries, a souvenir shop and a rotating restaurant on the 34th floor; this was called The Top of the Tower, and operated by Butlins. It made one revolution every 23 minutes.

In its first year the Tower hosted just under one million visitors and over 100,000 diners ate in the restaurant.

1971 Bombing

A bomb exploded in the roof of the men's toilets at the Top of the Tower restaurant at 04:30 on 31 October 1971, the blast damaged buildings and cars up to 400 yards away. The restaurant was closed to the public for security reasons a matter of months after the bombing in 1971.

21st century

The tower is still in use, and is the site of a major UK communications hub. Microwave links have been replaced by subterranean optical fibre links for most mainstream purposes, but the former are still in use at the tower.

The BT Tower was given Grade II listed building status in 2003.

In 2006, the tower began to be used for short-term air quality observations by the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and this has continued in a more permanent form as BT Tower Observatory, an urban atmospheric pollution observatory to help monitor air quality in the capital. The aim is to measure pollutant levels above ground level to determine their source. One area of investigation is the long-range transport of fine particles from outside the city.

Colin Ashcroft, Rainer Blankermann, Erhard Bernstein, sea-herdorf and 17 other people have particularly liked this photo


26 comments - The latest ones
 Rosalyn Hilborne
Rosalyn Hilborne club
That's a blast from the past Doug! I remember seeing the tower on a trip to London in 1970, but had forgotten about the bomb blast in 1971. A good find on a rainy day. Thanks for sharing.

Best wishes,
Rosa.
8 weeks ago.
Doug Shepherd club
has replied to Rosalyn Hilborne club
Thanks very much for your visit and kind comment Rosa.

All the best, Doug
7 weeks ago.
 Günter Klaus
Günter Klaus club
.......das ist schön lieber Doug,dass diese Marke in einen Album wieder aufgetaucht ist,vielen Dank für die tolle Info dazu:))

.......wünsche noch einen schönen Nachmittag,ganz liebe Grüße Güni:))
8 weeks ago.
Doug Shepherd club
has replied to Günter Klaus club
Thanks very much for your kind comment Güni, glad you like it.

All the best, Doug
7 weeks ago.
 Stephan Fey
Stephan Fey club
Fantastic treasure, Doug!
8 weeks ago.
Doug Shepherd club
has replied to Stephan Fey club
Thanks very much Stephan, glad you like it.

All the best, Doug
7 weeks ago.
 Roger (Grisly)
Roger (Grisly) club
A nice find and great information Doug.
8 weeks ago.
Doug Shepherd club
has replied to Roger (Grisly) club
Many thanks for your kind comment Roger.

All the best, Doug
7 weeks ago.
 Ulrich John
Ulrich John club
Really interesting ! A great find, Doug !
8 weeks ago.
Doug Shepherd club
has replied to Ulrich John club
Much appreciate your kind comment Ulrich, glad you like it.

All the best, Doug
7 weeks ago.
 Boarischa Krautmo
Boarischa Krautmo club
this stamp is older than I am.....
8 weeks ago.
Doug Shepherd club
has replied to Boarischa Krautmo club
Even I was still at school! Thanks so much for your visit Markus.

All the best, Doug
7 weeks ago.
 Annemarie
Annemarie club
beautiful
8 weeks ago.
Doug Shepherd club
has replied to Annemarie club
Many thanks for your kind comment Annemarie.

All the best, Doug
7 weeks ago.
 Jaap van 't Veen
Jaap van 't Veen club
Beautiful details.
Thank you for the interesting note.
8 weeks ago.
Doug Shepherd club
has replied to Jaap van 't Veen club
Thanks so much for your kind words Jaap.

All the best, Doug
7 weeks ago.
 Andy Rodker
Andy Rodker club
Although not an interest, I well remember this stamp!
8 weeks ago.
Doug Shepherd club
has replied to Andy Rodker club
Thanks very for your visit Andy, much appreciated.

All the best, Doug
7 weeks ago.
 Heide
Heide club
Very interesting; the stamp and what there is to learn about its motif.
Thanks for sharing, Doug
8 weeks ago.
Doug Shepherd club
has replied to Heide club
Many thanks for your visit Heide.

All the best, Doug
7 weeks ago.
 sea-herdorf
sea-herdorf club
Du besitzt eine ausgezeichnete Fähigkeit zu den Abbildungen eine spannende Geschichte zu erzählen, Doug.
Bild und Text sehr gut.
Freundliche Grüße und eine gute Woche
Erich
7 weeks ago.
Doug Shepherd club
has replied to sea-herdorf club
Thanks so much for your kind words Erich.

All the best, Doug
7 weeks ago.
 Rainer Blankermann
Rainer Blankermann club
A beautiful find. I also like the story behind the shot!
7 weeks ago.
Doug Shepherd club
has replied to Rainer Blankermann club
Thanks so much for your kind comment Rainer,

All the best, Doug
7 weeks ago.
 Colin Ashcroft
Colin Ashcroft club
You make me want to look for my stamp albums which are somewhere in this house!

We lived in the South(Essex) in those days and I remember the family going to the restaurant in the very early days. I came away thinking I had travelled into space (I always had a vivid imagination!)
7 weeks ago.
Doug Shepherd club
has replied to Colin Ashcroft club
Thanks very much for your visit Colin. It must have been a spectacular place back then. I always thought it looked like a giant rocket, although I have never seen it myself except in pictures.

Enjoy your day, Doug
7 weeks ago.

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