The strike was Britain's first national postal strike and began after postal workers demanded a pay rise of 15–20% then walked out after Post Office managers made a lower offer. The strike began on 20 January and lasted for seven weeks, finally ending with an agreement on Thursday 4 March. After voting over the weekend, the strikers returned to work on Monday 8 March 1971. The strike overlapped with the introduction of decimal currency in the UK.
A wide range of officially licensed and unlicensed private posts operated during the strike to fill the gap left by the withdrawal of official postal services. Some were genuine commercial services that provided local, national and international deliveries, but many were set up by stamp collectors and stamp dealers to provide philatelic material for collectors.
- "First-class post restarts today but 1,000 offices to stay shut" by Alan Hamilton in The Times, Monday 8 March 1971, p.1.
- "Railways and postal strikes". Stamp and Coin Mart. Warners Group Publications. February 2018. p. 29.
- 40th Anniversary of the 1971 Postal Strike by Rodney Gudger, Maidenhead & District Philatelic Society, 2010. Retrieved 27 June 2011.
- BBC On This Day: Post strike ends with pay, 5 March 1971, Retrieved on 31 October 2009.
- Scottish stamps of the 1971 postal strike. (archived at Web Archive)
- A Post Office worker remembers the strike of 1971 . Video Interview Archived 26 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine