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Saturday 3 March 2012
Grodno, Belarus 1992: Strange but True
Back in 1992, I had a correspondent in Lithuania who often visited Grodno. So I sent him some of my Belarus New Issues (I had too many ...) and asked him to use them on covers to me.
One day - 3 OCT 1992 according to the Lewes cancellation on the reverse - I received the cover shown above. I was very excited. I had not seen anything like this before. It was overfranked (I think 15 roubles was the rate) but this time I did not care.
For a time, I collected Grodno "brown paper" provisionals and, in fact, anything from post-Soviet Grodno. One of the things I noticed was that Grodno post offices seemed to have no black ink available - either you saw purple ink (as on the Registration cachets and canellations on this cover) or red ink.
I forget who bought my Grodno material from me, but I kept this one cover as a souvenir. ( I have covered up my old Lewes address to which you can no longer send letters. My present address is: Unit 10, 91 Western Road, Brighton BN1 2NW, England)