Tag Archives: Spring Stampex

Centenary of the introduction of Postage Dues

2014 marks the centenary of postage due stamps first being introduced by the Post Office. Uncollected revenue has always been a concern of the Post Office. If an item was posted without sufficient prepayment it was surcharged and the excess collected by the postman on delivery. However the system in place originally was complicated and open to abuse. In March 1912 a conference looked at possible reforms.

1911 Sketch design for the coupon for the Post Office Savings Bank with a Downey Head example

The conference proposed the introduction of “Postage Due” labels – to be affixed to all mail that had not been fully paid for. Postage Due labels would be accounted for in the same way as postage stamps and therefore a direct check could be maintained on each item of mail.

George W. Eve, the bookplate designer, was invited to create a design along the lines of existing postage due labels of other countries, without the monarch’s head.

1911 Sketch design for the coupon for the Post Office Savings Bank with a Downey Head example (above). Both designed by George Eve.

1911 Sketch design for the coupon for the Post Office Savings Bank with a Downey Head example (above). Both designed by George Eve.

Denominations

There were to be four denominations of Postage Due labels (½d, 1d, 2d, and 5d) initially, all in the same design and in landscape format. Eve was offered, and accepted, a fee of 30 guineas (£31 10s) to undertake this work. He produced a design in the style of a bookplate, using leaves and national symbols, and the words POSTAGE DUE.

Further denominations were added later, with higher values being used to collect customs dues. For these the wording was therefore changed to TO PAY.

14 April 1914 Post Office notice for the introduction of Postage Due labels

14 April 1914 Post Office notice for the introduction of Postage Due labels

Different watermarked paper and different colours were used over the years. Despite changes in the colours and increases in the denominations, it is significant that George Eve’s design of Postage Due labels remained the same for over 50 years, until 1970.

2014 marks the centenary of the introduction of Postage Due labels.  Their use ceased in 2000.

The BPMA will be introducing a new commemorative stamp issue to its Post & Go machine at Freeling House on Wednesday 19 February 2014 to mark the centenary of the introduction of Postage Due labels. These will be available until Saturday 5 April 2014.

1902 Design for the Lord Mayor’s invitation

Earlier examples of illustrations by George Eve. 1902 Design for the Lord Mayor’s invitation.

Both the existing Machin and the Union Flag designs will bear the underprint “The B.P.M.A./ Postage Due 1914”.  A limited number of BPMA specific first day covers will be available for purchase both at Freeling House and through the online shop.

The new commemorative stamp issue will also be marked through a small two panel display in the BPMA’s Search Room Foyer, from Wednesday 19 February until Saturday 5 April.

Spring Stampex 2014

On Wednesday, 19 February, the busy British National Stamp Exhibition, or Stampex, will open its doors once more. Stampex is free of charge and open to the philatelic community and anyone interested in stamps and postal history.

The show is located at the Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 0QH. Stampex will be open as follows:

  • Wed 19 February: 11.30am – 7pm
  • Thu 20 February: 10am – 6pm
  •  Fri 21 February: 10am – 6pm
  • Sat 22 February: 10am – 5pm

The BPMA will be Stampex Spring 2014 – Tech Plan (5) situated at Stand no. 80, with the BPMA Friends at the adjacent Stand no. 79 (floor plan attached), sharing the stand with the Stuart Rossiter Trust. We are situated on the left hand side of the mezzanine floor, close to Royal Mail stand.

Lieutenant-General Sir Pratap Singh and the Rajah of Ratlam, at Sir Douglas Haig’s Chateau in Montreuil, 17th June 1916 © IWM (Q 692))

Lieutenant-General Sir Pratap Singh and the Rajah of Ratlam, at Sir Douglas Haig’s Chateau in Montreuil, 17th June 1916 © IWM (Q 692))

Come along to our stand and collect your FREE goodie bag (limited numbers available). We will be sharing news about the BPMA’s current events and activities, and showing footage and still images on selected days of Mail Rail. Our staff will be available throughout the four days of Stampex to answer questions and provide information on our forthcoming plans to open The Postal Museum.

Stampex 2013

Stampex 2013

There will be a great selection of BPMA shop products to purchase, including BPMA-specific first day covers, selected publications with 50% off and many other items.

There will also be images and panels demonstrating the breadth of the BPMA collection, available for visitors to view. We will also have on display a small number of panels from our First World War exhibition: Last Post, to mark the centenary of the First World War in 2014.

Secret coding signifying sailing times. The location of each area of conflict was coded by letter to maintain secrecy: A for ‘in France’, and B for ‘East Africa’, for example.

Secret coding signifying sailing times. The location of each area of conflict was coded by letter to maintain secrecy: A for ‘in France’, and B for ‘East Africa’, for example.

Last Post is shortly going on tour to a wide variety of museums, galleries and libraries across the UK. The flagship Last Post exhibition will be on display at Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron from Friday 11 April.

Also available at the BPMA stand will be tickets to purchase for the BPMA evening talk on Thursday 20 February at the Phoenix Centre (next door to the BPMA and a 20 minute walk from the Business Design Centre) on the histories of The Times’ War Correspondents.

Postage Due 1914 at the BPMA

Coinciding with the first day of Stampex, on Wednesday 19 February, the BPMA are introducing a new commemorative stamp issue to its Post & Go machine at Freeling House, to mark the centenary of the introduction of Postage Due labels. These will be available until 5 April. Both the existing Machin and the Union Flag designs will bear the underprint “The B.P.M.A./ Postage Due 1914”.

A limited number of BPMA specific first day covers will be available for purchase both at Freeling House from Wednesday 19 February and at the BPMA Stand at Stampex from 1pm on Wednesday 19 February.

The Centenary will also be marked through a small two-panel display in the BPMA’s Search Room Foyer at Freeling House, until 5 April.

Dominique Gardner, Exhibitions Officer

Spring Stampex 2013

On Wednesday 20th February 2013, the British National Stamp Exhibition Stampex will open its doors again to the philatelic community and anyone interested in stamps, postal history and other related items. The Friends of the BPMA will be there again at stand no. 55, near the Royal Mail stand, to talk about upcoming events and activities, and offer a great selection of products from the BPMA Shop.

Stalls at Stampex, 2010

Stalls at Stampex

Stampex takes place at the Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 0QH from Wednesday 20th to Saturday 23rd February 2013, and will be open as follows:

Wednesday – 11.30am–7.00pm
Thursday & Friday – 10.00am–6.00pm
Saturday – 10.00am–5.00pm

Admission is free – so come along to visit the Friends of the BPMA who will have more information on the BPMA’s fundraising plans towards our new museum and archive.

New Postal Museum & Archive, Calthorpe House, London.

New Postal Museum & Archive, Calthorpe House, London.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to buy tickets for the talk by stamp enthusiast Chris West on A History of Britain in 36 Postage Stamps which will take place on Thursday evening, 21st February 2013, at 7pm at the Phoenix Centre, next door to the Royal Mail Archive in Clerkenwell, only 20 minutes walk from the Business Design Centre.

There will be plenty of material on display showcasing items from our collections such as a replica of a large-size green Victorian Penfold pillar box, advertising the upcoming Pillar Box Perfection open day at our Museum Store in Debden, Essex on 6th April 2013.

Pillar boxes at the Museum Store.

Pillar boxes at the Museum Store.

We will be showing a selection of images of the Post Office Underground railway (Mail Rail) – a fascinating part of London’s postal heritage and ‘secret underground’ – as well as visuals of Post Office Magazine covers, which feature in our touring exhibition The Post Office in Pictures.

Post Office Underground Railway - train in tunnel. (POST 118/382)

Post Office Underground Railway – train in tunnel. (POST 118/382)

As Royal Mail will be launching a set of Jane Austen stamps celebrating the 200th Anniversary of Pride and Prejudice, we will also display images of the stamp issues to celebrate the Bicentenary of Jane Austen’s birth in 1975. As part of our Stamp Artwork Project, which has been generously funded by the Aurelius Charitable Trust, the Leche Trust and The Charles Hayward Foundation, these stamps and more artwork from 1975-1985 have been digitised and provided with fully researched stamp histories and catalogue entries in order to enable public access to the BPMA’s extensive collection of British stamps. They will be added to our online catalogue in April.

Finally, there will be special offers on BPMA philatelic products and the latest newcomers to the BPMA product range such as the Telegram Messenger postcard set and Chris West’s book First Class – A History of Britain in 36 Postage Stamps.

New telegram messenger postcard set.

New telegram messenger postcard set.

Spring Stampex 2012

As the days are getting longer, there are also more and more events to look forward to – including Spring Stampex, from 22-25 February at the Business Design Centre (BDC) in Islington. Come and visit the Friends of the BPMA at stand 20 and learn more about upcoming BPMA events and exhibitions, get the latest postal heritage products or simply have a chat about some exciting finds at the stamp show.

Stampex at the Business Design Centre

Stampex at the Business Design Centre

Use your visit to Stampex to get more information about our new Diamond Jubilee exhibition which will offer an exclusive insight into the variety of the stamps released to mark the occasion. It will be on display at the BPMA Archive Search Room from 10 May 2012. One of the world’s greatest collections of stamps is the subject of a talk by Michael Sefi, Keeper of the Royal Philatelic Collection, on 23 February 2012 at the Phoenix Centre, for which you will be able to buy tickets at the stand, too. Another highlight of the postal heritage events calendar is the launch of The Post Office in Pictures exhibition at its exciting new touring venue. The exhibition (along with a host of activities) will be at the Lumen URC, London, from 19 May to the end of August 2012.

Among many popular BPMA products, we will offer a new postcard pack of six Mail Rail themed images at Stampex. On the occasion of Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee there will also be a beautiful collector’s item for sale at the stand: a Wedgwood Jasperware plate featuring one of the most famous portraits of Queen Elizabeth II – the ‘Machin head’.

Mail Rail postcard pack

Mail Rail postcard pack

Royal Mail will again have a substantial presence and offer the full range of current stamp issues and provide posting boxes for collectors to post covers for the special Stampex handstamps. On Thursday, 23 February, Royal Mail will launch the Britons of Distinction stamps and the following day will see the issue of new pictorial Post and Go Stamps featuring British sheep. As usual, admission is free and the exhibition opens 11.30am-7pm on Wednesday, 10am-6pm on Thursday and Friday, and 10am-5pm on Saturday.

The Friends of the BPMA are looking forward to meeting you there!

Spring Stampex 2010

Merchandise on display at the Friends of the BPMA stall at Spring Stampex 2010.

Merchandise on display at the Friends of the BPMA stall at Spring Stampex 2010.

The 2010 Spring Stampex opened today at the Business Design Centre, Islington, London. The BPMA Friends can be found at stand 20 this year. They will be happy to tell you more about the BPMA, and you can also become a Friend yourself.

Next door at stand 18 is Bletchley Park Post Office, who will be hosting an event as part of the London 2010: Festival of Stamps in August – you will be able to find out more about this nearer the time.

As part of their stand on the Village Green at Stampex, Royal Mail are offering visitors the chance to make their own smilers. The image below is a Smiler sheet created by Chairman of the BPMA Friends Cyril Macey. It shows the BPMA Friends stand, with 2010 Festival Manager Jennifer Flippance and John Chapman from Bletchley Post Office.

A Smiler sheet created at Stampex showing the Friends of the BPMA stall

A Smiler sheet created at Stampex showing the Friends of the BPMA stall

Admission to Stampex is free, and the show is on until Saturday (27 February). For more details visit the Stampex website: www.stampex.ltd.uk

Stamp Active Network

by David Rossall, Stamp Active Network

Stamp Active Network is the national organisation, under the auspices of ABPS, which endeavours to encourage young people to take up stamp collecting as a hobby. Once called the National Youth stamp Group, it comprises a small core team of dedicated volunteers to coordinate actions. It works primarily through Federation Youth Officers, plus publicity in the philatelic press, federation and society newsletter, both to encourage children in their collecting, and request the assistance of more established collectors to provide the necessary backing and expertise.

Stamp Active Network Fun Book

Stamp Active Network's Stamp Fun Book

One of our most successful ventures is the Kidstamp postal club, with over 800 members UK wide, which maintains contact with youngsters, provides stamps to augment their collections and keeps them informed of events and competitions. This needs considerable inputs of suitable material to maintain, and we rely on our adult and trade contacts to keep us supplied.

The Competitions committee is the organising force behind both the Stamp Active competitions and the British Youth Stamp Championships, both annual events held respectively at Spring and Autumn Stampex, and our more outstanding youngsters are encouraged to progress to international level.

The organisation of youth activities at national level exhibitions is coordinated by the Exhibitions committee, who will be especially busy with the Festival of Stamps this year. With this in mind we are appealing for volunteers to help in London in May, especially on the 8th, 9th and 15th, to provide extra hands at the Stamp Active stand at the Business Design Centre. If you are available during that time please contact Dave Armitage at davearmitage@btopenworld.com or on 01279 503 625 for further details.

Stamp Active Network is always available to give advice and assistance to leaders of school and youth stamp clubs. Our latest initiative, sponsored by Stanley Gibbons, is a club starter pack. When Gibbons are given material to auction for charity, the proceeds go into a fund to provide these packs of philatelic materials (worth over £50) to help new clubs get started. Applications for the packs should be sent on an official letterhead to Beverley Davies, SAN Secretary, The Meadows, Chapel Lane, Mathern, Chepstow, NP16 6HS.

Stamp Active Network - The Young Collector's CD guide to Stamp Collecting

The Young Collector's CD guide to Stamp Collecting

During the Festival of Stamps year Stamp Active Network will also be distributing, free to children, a 16 page full-colour stamp Fun Book of activities and a CD guide to stamp collecting, which we hope will generate lots of interest. These are being made available to organisers of any event linked to the Festival of Stamps where provisions are being made for youth participation.

Anyone wanting further information on the work we do is welcome to visit our website www.planetstamp.co.uk. This is mainly aimed at young collectors but has plenty of information on collecting, competitions, guidance for group leaders and a listing of all known events in 2010 which are making provisions to attract juniors.