FIRST CLASS posties at a mail centre in Leeds have the stamp of approval after sorting over 5.5million items during its busiest day of the year.
The YEP went behind the scenes at the Leeds mail centre in Stourton yesterday where 1,900 staff work around the clock to make sure Christmas cards and parcels for and from people across Leeds arrive on time.
Royal Mail is taking on 21,000 extra seasonal workers in the UK – 700 of which are here in Leeds – to help with the festive rush.
Extra Christmas parcel sorting centres have also been set up at Crossgates, Leeds, and extended collection times have been organised.
As well as the huge team of workers at Stourton, 4,200 Leeds delivery postmen and women will also be busy working during the festive period.
Alison Wright, director of processing, has worked with Royal Mail for 27 years.
She said: “Christmas is certainly a busy time of year for us.
“When you’re posting your letters in a red box in Leeds, it will be collected and brought here before going through a letter sorting machine.
“It gets through 35,000 items per hour and sorts out first and second class post by reading the phosphor in the stamps.
“The large letter sorting machine can sort 25,000 in an hour.”
She added: “Then we have the regular posties and seasonal staff who do manual sorts if they can’t be picked up by the machine because they are strange shapes or without postcodes, which is why we urge everyone to include postcodes!”
Your last chance to send post
THE DEADLINE for sending your cards in time for Christmas is looming.
The last recommended posting date for second class mail is today – Wednesday, December 18.
The last recommended posting date for first class mail is Friday, December 20.
Important items can be posted using Special Delivery up until December 23.
Customers are encouraged to always use a postcode to ensure their letters make it to the recipient.
Gary Milne, delivery director for Royal Mail, said: “We are seeing the massive seasonal increase in our volumes again this year.
“We love parcels and, once again this Christmas, out customers clearly enjoy ordering and sending them.
“Everyone here is committed to delivering a first class Christmas and we will be working hard right up until Christmas Eve.
“No-one else works harder at this time of the year in every single village, town and city across the country.”