Casey Jones Rail Road Unit of the ATA

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TRAINS on Railway Parcel Stamps and Railway Letter Stamps of the World

Page 5 - Great Britain and Ireland


Great Britain and Ireland

Railway Parcel Stamps



Parcel stamps
More about these here and here.


Railroads in Great Britain were the first in the world to issue parcel stamps, with the first ones being released in 1846 (according to this article).

They were also the most prolific, far exceeding the issues of Germany (second largest), which had more railroads, but fewer designs and denominations. Many of the GB rails issued several hundred stamps. (For example, the coil type stamps alone will total over a thousand-- there are many others that don't depict trains)

Like all stamps of this nature the vast majority were lost because they were not collected heavily. While a number of these stamps are still relatively common, the majority are scarce. There are a number that can be considered quite rare. Collecting interest is high and competition is fierce.

The only catalogue was printed in 1906, so collecting them is a challenge. There are many different designs, but only twenty or so include a rail image.

Below are listed all the ones with a train depicted on them that I know of so far, sorted alphabetically by carrier, with examples of most of the designs.

I have written more about GB's railway stamps HERE, including an interesting e-mail conversation I had with an expert on the topic.

 

CALEDONIAN RAILWAY
Scotland

1848-1923

1862 Sugar sample, "GLASGOW TO GREENOCK" (height=75mm)

There is 1 other, a 2d Black on Yellow Greenock to Edinburgh

Note differences in the two shown - bottom stamp has "A" and "O" under ends of ribbon, while top stamp says "SUGAR SAMPLE OR ORDER" and bottom says just "SUGAR SAMPLE"

Why a special stamp for sugar I have no idea.

Quite scarce - the bottom stamp sold on eBay recently for $105, after opening at $1.99

"Label for Parcel" (height=60mm)

½d parcel stamps, two colors: blue on white (illustrated), black on yellow

Issued 1863

Note the C and S under the ends of the Caledonian ribbon (cick on image for enlargement). Stamp exists with no letters under ribbon.

 

EASTERN AND MIDLANDS RAILWAY
England

1882-1893

- ½d overprint & surcharge in black, two perfs 10½, 11½

- ½d overprint & surcharge in red

- 1d overprint & surcharge in black

 

GLASGOW & SOUTH WESTERN RAILWAY
Scotland

1850-1923

- Another Sugar sample stamp

 

GREAT CENTRAL RAILWAY
England

1897-1923

See also - http://www.greatcentraltoday.com/gcrhistory.htm

1910/1912, square, rouletted, whitish paper
The 4d stamp at top left is part of this set

DENOMINATIONS and COLORS: 1d Blue, 2d Orange, 3d Red, 4d Gray-blue, 5d Olive-green, 6d Pink, 7d Green, 8d Orange-brown, 9d Violet, 10d Slate-blue, 11d Brown, 1/ Red, 2/ Olive-green.

The 2d and 6d have been seen perforated

There were 4 printings between 1910/1912 which can be identified by serial number.

Coil stamps on white paper - 6d in scan at left part of this set -
- 1d, 2d, 3d, 4d, 5d, 6d, 7d, 8d, 9d, 10d, 11d, 1/, 1/1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/6, 1/8, 1/9, 1/10, 1/11, 2/, 2/1 2/6, 3/, 4/, 5/, 6/, 7/
-- The 1/3 and 1/7 should exist
-- exist for many stations and with many different style fonts

Coil stamps on green paper - 1/9 at left part of this set
- 3d, 4d, 5d, 6d, 7d, 8d, 9d, 10d, 11, 1/, 1/3, 1/4, 1/6, 1/7, 1/9, 1/11, 2/, 2/6, 5/, 10/
- 20/(!) (other denominations should exist)
- seen only on Leicester, Marylebone and two other stations

 

GREAT CENTRAL AND MIDLAND JOINT RAILWAY
England

1905-1923

NO ILLUSTRATION - 8d on white paper (COIL, in same design as GCR, above)

Other denominations must exist.

 

GREAT YARMOUTH & STALHAM RAILWAY
(Great Yarmouth and Stalham Light Railway)
England

1880-1883

- photo only

 

LIVERPOOL OVERHEAD RAILWAY
Liverpool (England)

1893-1957


Liverpool Overhead Railway

(no train on stamp)

I am including this one in my list for two reasons - first, just because its story and the collateral material (see links below) are so interesting; and second, as an example of one of the hundreds of designs with no train.

? The Liverpool Overhead Railway was built between 1889 and 1893 to ease congestion along the Dock Road.

? It was the first electrically powered overhead railway in the world.

? Damaged by bombing during WW II, it needed extensive repairs and modernization, which the owners could not afford. It was demolished in 1957.

? Visit http://www.timbosliverpool.co.uk/lor/ for more history and photos of the Liverpool Overhead.

? From this page you can access photos of the Liverpool Overhead railway in 1954, Liverpool trams and Liverpool trains:
http://dewi.ca/trains/liverpoo/index.html.

(That page is part of an extensive site of rail photos taken between 1946 and 1956 - http://dewi.ca/trains/index.html - visit it when you have time to relax and enjoy it.)

 

LONDON & NORTH EASTERN RAILWAY
England and Scotland

1923-1948

- on green paper 7d, 9d
- on white (shown) 1d, 3d, 5d, 7d

Other denominations must exist

 

LONDON & NORTH WESTERN RAILWAY
England and Wales

1846-1923

1. Parcel stamps with "badge design" (note similarity to some Argentine revenues)
The basic stamp is the same for all issues
- first set 1897 no control or surcharge, badge of RR printed on back
- second set 1898 no control, same value surcharged on front
- third set late 1898 large control numbers, same value surcharged on front
- 4 th set very late 1898 small controls, same value surcharged on front

2. Publicity label advertising route-- but note the clear train.
I know about 8 others (other routes) and there must be more

3. Label = This was put on posters in stations as evidence that the advertiser had paid for the privilege.

 

LYNN AND FAKENHAM RAILWAY
England

1880-1882

- ½d - extremely rare (was offered 400 £ Sterling for it in 1981)
- There is a 1d

 

MERSEY RAILWAY
Liverpool - Birkenhead (England)

1886-present

Three sets:

- 1st set: 1d blue (shown), 2d red

- second set: 1d blue, 2d red, 3d apple green
inscribed at left "News Parcel" at right "At Owners Risk"
all 3 values showing the new Electric Locos bought by the Railway (1903)

- third set: 1d yellow, 3d green (shown)
same design as second set, but at left "Parcel" at right "Stamp"

? The Mersey Railway ran from Birkenhead/Liverpool to Wirral under the River Mersey. Approved 1871, finally begun 1880, opened 1886, christened by the Prince of Wales. By 1890 the tunnel was carrying over 10 million passengers a year. Suffered at first from competition from electric trams and the Ferry Woodside, which some thought healthier than steam and smoke fumes in the underground tunnel.

? In 1903, the Mersey Railway became the first steam railway in the world to change over entirely to electric power.

? It is still in operation today.

? Here is a nice old postcard showing the Mersey Tunnel Railway and pointing out that its tunnel predated any road tunnel under the Mersey by about 50 years: http://www.stevengraphs.com/mertunrail19.html

? From this page you can access photos of the Mersey Railway in 1956, Liverpool trams and Liverpool trains: http://dewi.ca/Trains/liverpoo/.

(That page is part of an extensive site of rail photos taken between 1946 and 1956 - http://dewi.ca/Trains/index.html - visit it when you have time to relax and enjoy it.)

 

METROPOLITAN & GREAT CENTRAL JOINT RAILWAY
(MET & G.C.)

London (England)

1906-1927

- on white paper - 3d, 5d, 1/, 1/6, 2/

 

MIDLAND AND GREAT NORTHERN JOINT RAILWAYS
EASTERN SECTION

England

1893-1923

This is the only design and denomination known

 

MIDLAND GREAT WESTERN RAILWAY

Ireland

1845-1924

Market Basket Stamps (4 denominations):
- 1/ on white paper (shown)
- 1/3 on violet, 1/9 on blue (shown), 2/6 orange buff (all 3 same design)
They were issued in booklets - note the perf left sides.
The 4 denominations are for different weights and distances. In rural Ireland it was not possible to shop at the neighborhood super market. So you put your basket with an order on the train. The basket would be picked up at the other end, your order filled and put back on the train for your pickup.

Luggage Label for checked baggage (4 varieties):
- Exists on purple paper and on white paper (shown)
- Two dies -- large shamrocks on corners, small shamrocks on corners - each on both colors of paper
(I only have one type so I don't know which die I have)

More about the MGWR:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midland_Great_Western_Railway

http://www.askaboutireland.ie/show_narrative_page.do?page_id=1061

 

MONMOUTHSHIRE RAIL & CANAL RAILWAY
Southern Wales

1845-1980

NO ILLUSTRATION - 1d red, 2d blue (no idea what these look like)

 

WATERFORD AND LIMERICK RAILWAY
later WATERFORD, LIMERICK AND WESTERN

Ireland

1848-1901

   - Photos only

 

YARMOUTH RAILWAY
England

1880??

NO ILLUSTRATION - ½d - like Great Yarmouth



Railway Letter Stamps

Great Britain's railways also issued letter stamps (below), about which a lot more is known, but their designs are generic, and do not include any rail images.


Railway Letter Stamps of GB

I have written more about GB's railway stamps HERE, including an interesting e-mail conversation I had with an expert on the topic.


SOUVENIR LABELS from modern railway preservation societies

As in Australia, modern preservation railways of the UK have issued souvenir labels to promote themselves and generate extra revenue. These are available singly, in souvenir sheets, on First Day and souvenir covers, in year packs, etc.; and while they are attractive and fun, and benefit good causes (if bought from the producers), they proliferate too rapidly to keep track of, though there is a catalogue, published by the Railway Philatelic Group of the UK.
Above is a random assortment.

__________________________________________________

IMPORTANT NOTE: This page is a work-in-progress, subject to revision as I learn more.
If you find errors, please let me know, so I can correct them. Send to .


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All text Copyright © 2004, William M. Senkus

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Created -- 12/08/2004
Revised -- 03/02/2008