Bethlehem, South Wales
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Eclectic Penguin
N 51° 54.643 W 003° 54.659
30U E 437337 N 5751500
Quick Description: A tiny hamlet in South Wales on a minor road between the town of Llandeilo and Felindre, comprising of a dozen or so houses and an old school house in the Tywi valley. The waymark is for the village post office, which used to be the schoolhouse.
Location: United Kingdom
Date Posted: 11/30/2008 1:52:33 PM
Waymark Code: WM594Q
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 20

Long Description:

Not much stands out against the ordinary as you drive through Bethlehem apart from the name, yet, for one month in the year, the hamlet regularly becomes the focus of national (and occasionally international) news reporting. This is mainly due to the post office and its unique postal service.

Years ago, Bethlehem's post office became famous for providing a Bethlehem postmark for the Royal Mail's first day's issue of the annual Christmas postage stamps, providing they were posted from the actual post office in Bethlehem. Indeed, the postmark was used on other letters sent during the month of December making the post office incredibly popular for one month of the year! Then is was an official Royal Mail post mark, something that was normally only bestowed for large towns.

In the 1990s, the post office was closed as it was perceived that there was not enough business to keep it in business, much to the sadness and anger of the local community.

After it closed, for the purpose of the first day of issue, a special mobile post office was set up each year to provide the service.

After much local petitioning, a post office re-opened in 2004 in the old closed schoolhouse providing post office services to the local community for 2 days a week (which is the waymark). However, during December, the post office is open from 9am to 4pm each working day to provide its unique Christmas service.

These days, their service is now a special hand stamp over the regular postage stamp rather than the official post office post mark as the post office now use more hi-tech post marking systems - but each year, many hundreds come to this tiny little village for their cards and mail to get the special unique Bethlehem stamp.

Bible verse: Matthew 2:1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi came from the East to Jerusalem. (NIV)

Person Place or Thing: Place

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Recent Visits/Logs:
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veritas vita visited Bethlehem, South Wales 4/10/2012 veritas vita visited it
Norfolk12 visited Bethlehem, South Wales 9/5/2010 Norfolk12 visited it

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