Wednesday 24 August 2016

813. Guernsey Post Recognises The Importance Of The Battle Of Hastings (Unlike Royal Mail).

   Although those who plan Royal Mail special stamp issues have failed to recognise how much more important in English history is the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings than is the 50th anniversary of, er, the Mr Men books (Roger Hargreaves really wasn't a Charles Kingsley or a JRR Tolkien), there will be at least one (or even 2, if you include Post and Go stamps) issues to commemorate the battle's anniversary.
  Guernsey Post will release a set of 6 stamps on 14 September 2016 which will be inscribed "Alderney" and which depict scenes from the battle where Englishmen fought to resist the invading Normans under William The Bastard and to prevent their proud little country from falling into the hands of a ruthless foreign tyrant, which Duke William proved to be. As we know, the English failed, King Harold was killed and William took the English throne and a turning point in history was reached (the publication of the Mr. Men books can not similarly be described).
  The Norman monster is depicted on the 70p stamp (above) lifting his helmet to prove to his soldiers that he is still alive after a rumour spread across the battlefield that he had been killed and the 78p shows the heroic English king Harold fighting on against the invaders, pressed by a wall of shields with a rain of arrows all around him. A mounted Harold is also depicted on the 57p value.
 A fine little set from Guernsey Post. Rating:- *****.

  Less welcome is a Collectors strip of "Guernsey Flag" "Post and Go" stamps dispensed locally from the kiosk at Envoy House (GG02) in St. Peter Port which is made up of 6 values, each with the additional inscription "Envoy House/Battle of Hastings" but at least the issue will be dispensed in Guernsey itself and has a locally important subject (the Channel Islands had belonged previously to William of Normandy and then became property of the English crown subsequent to William's seizure of the throne). The date of issue will be 14 September 2016. Rating:- ***.

  Guernsey Post attempts to extract even more money from collectors by the sale of yet another "Collectors strip" of "Guernsey Flag" "Post and Go" labels, this time not dispensed locally and with the additional inscription "The Battle of the/Somme 1916-2016". The issue on 14 September will coincide with the Autumn Stampex Exhibition (kiosk GG01). Rating:- 0.

   I recently visited the main Birmingham city centre post office in Pinfold Street, off Victoria Square, to see what the Post and Go kiosks there were dispensing just prior to their switching to dispensing Union Jack Post and Go stamps. All nine were dispensing Machin Head stamps but some were dispensing those with the MA15 code and some with the MA16 code. What surprised me, when I compared the 2 types was that there was distinct difference in shade between them - the MA15 being very yellowy (above) and the MA16 being severely grey (below) - sadly my scanner, which I really need to replace, does not do full justice to the difference between the 2 types. 
  These Post and Go stamps - those dispensed in ordinary post offices from NCR kiosks are as much postage stamps as are ordinary Machin definitives - are very interesting if you put aside all the catchpenny museum and exhibition souvenir issues, which have their own place for some collectors, and a collection dating back to 2008, when they were introduced, is now turning into a modern philatelic study of one type of constantly evolving postage stamp.

  Pos Malaysia issued a miniature sheet (in perforate and imperforate formats) on 23 August 2016 to accompany its Seven Wonders of Malaysia's Flora and Fauna set (see Blog 812). The sheets depict Xing Xing and Liang Liang, the giant pandas gifted to Malaysia by The Chinese People's Republic. Rating:- *****. 

  The latest price list from Nigel Haworth, who often manages to supply new Commonwealth stamps which other dealers rarely seem able to obtain, includes 9 more stamps from the 2015 Papua New Guinea provisional surcharges issue (see Blog 791).
  These are the K15 on 85t Black bellied stamp, K15 on K1.05 Law and Order stamp, K40 on K6 Oil palm, K40 on K4.65 Girl Guides, K40 on K3.70 Beach kalofilum, K45 on 85t Bixa, K90K6.40 Girl guides, K90 on K3 World census and K90 on K7 Traditional dance. Rating:- *****.

  In Blog 748 I mentioned 3 surcharged stamps issued by the Trinidad And Tobago postal administration during 2015 and Nigel Haworth's price list adds to the information about one of these stamps - the $3.25c surcharge on the 85c value of the "Flowers" definitive set originally issued in 1983 was actually issued on 2 different stamps - that with a "1987" imprint in the lower border and the second on the same tamp with a "1988" imprint. Rating:- *****. 

  The Barbados Postal Service has issued a set of 4 stamps on the subject of The Barbados Landship which, according to Wikipedia, is a cultural movement and entertainment organisation, known for its entertaining parades, performance and dances. Members mimic the Royal Navy and march and perform to the music of the Tuke Band. The movement began in Barbados among plantation workers after the ending of slavery to aid their economic and social development. 
  I do not yet know the date of issue or any other philatelic details. Rating:- ***.

  And so, as inevitably as the sea erodes the rocks, to the latest philatelic products from .... Stamperija.  This week the philatelic agency has issued 15 "sheetlets", each containing 4 different "stamps" along with 15 accompanying "miniature sheets" with a "date of issue" of 10 May 2016. Subjects featured are "International Year of Pulses", Centenary of the birth of Len Hutton (Cricketer), 40th anniversary of the start of Concorde's commercial flights, 80th anniversary of the first flight of the Hindenburg, 95th birthday of John Glenn (US astronaut), 55th anniversary of the first manned space flight, Lighthouses, Water birds, Fish, 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London, High speed trains, Whales, Mushrooms, Elvis Presley (US entertainer) and Dinosaurs. 
  Oh, by the way, the name of Mozambique, is printed on the stuff. Rating:- 0.


  1. Look at the choice of stamps for the people of Mozambique. Sales of pens and typewriters must also be very good there, seeing that the Internet has not arrived with email and other modern networking applications. The poor people condemned to have to communicate by pen and post alone. For, if they did have the internet, and they saw what wallpaper was being printed in their name, their postal authorities would be up against the wall when the next revolution comes.

    1. I sometimes think it's not a good thing to give free publicity to the sort of stamps you write about (and a few people do look at this blog from time to time) but In the end if people can see what exactly is being put out by some of the philatelic agencies then they can draw their own conclusions about whether such products are excessive or not and whether such "stamps" are exploitational.