Joined head post offices

On 1 July 1854, the Post Office introduced another type of local postage rate for mail circulating between 2 head post offices (called Recettes in 1863). These post offices had to be adjacent to each other and the mail flow had to be substantial. This rate was none other than the local rate applied to two neighbouring Postal Districts. It was only extended to 39 provincial head post offices. In the French Post Office's vocabulary, the most important office is called the "Direction principale" (main head post office), and the least important office is called the "Direction annexe" (annex head post office).

In the Nord, there were 2 cases of joined head post offices:

- between the LILLE,  WAZEMMES and MOULINLILLE post offices (until May 1859)

- between VALENCIENNES and ANZIN until the end of the local postage rates (end of April 1878).

Lille, Wazemmes, Moulinlille

1857: Letter given to the postman as he passed through the commune of ESQUERMES, served by the WAZEMMES post office, on his way to LILLE. Since 1st July 1854, the joined head post offices postal rate has operated between LILLE and WAZEMMES.

1854: Letter from MOULINLILLE to LILLE. At this time the two post offices were still independent of each other.

Before May 1859, WAZEMMES and MOULINLILLE were 3rd class head post offices were and independent from LILLE. With the annexation by LILLE of the communes of FIVES, WAZEMMES, MOULINLILLE and ESQUERMES, the WAZEMMES and MOULINLILLE lost their independence and became branch offices of the head post office of  LILLE. The joined head post offices postal rate between LILLE, MOULINLILLE and WAZEMMES lasted less than 5 years (1854-1859).

Valenciennes, Anzin

1859: From VALENCIENNES to ANZIN. It should be noted that the Chiffre-Taxe was printed in lithography.

VALENCIENNES and ANZIN were two highly industrial and neighbouring towns. The large volume of mail (particularly from the mines in ANZIN) could justify the use of the joined head post office postal rate.

1867: Closed envelope franked at 10 c from VALENCIENNES to ANZIN. As these 2 communes are joined head post offices, the local rate applied. Apparently, this mail did not reach its addressee in ANZIN and was returned to VALENCIENNES.

1873: Letter from ANZIN for ST SAULVE, a rural commune located in the rural district of the VALENCIENNES head post office.

1873: Postage due letter weighing less than 10g from VALENCIENNES to ANZIN.