Wednesday 6 December 2023

South Petherton (1925)

This printed form sent from South Petherton in January 1925 is a request for Vicarial Tithes.  Interestingly the two halfpenny stamps have different South Petherton cancels, one a single ring and the other a double ring.

Sunday 3 December 2023

Watchet (1843), Shepton Mallet (1888) and Frome (1897)

This clear example of the Watchet Penny Post handstamp was used in January 1843, three years after the end of the local penny posts.  It also has a Taunton Penny Post dated handstamp.

This Shepton Mallet single ring cancel was used in January 1888, thirteen years after the cancel was issued.

These Frome items were sent in September 1897.  The first is marked as Book Post but could have been overfranked at 1d.

The second item from Frome, sent six days later was not franked so incurred 2d postage due.

Wednesday 29 November 2023

Stogumber UDC, 1848

Here is an example of the Stogumber UDC from November 1848 on the receipt for a Registered Letter.  It is not clear exactly what colour the UDC is, red or yellow, given the fading of ink over time.

Sunday 26 November 2023

Some mail to / from abroad

Here are a number of covers to or from abroad, starting with one going by airmail from North Curry to Australia in 1946.  Apart from the high franking value of 1/3 there is nothing odd about the cover - though as it was from before the introduction of a general scheme for airmails in January 1947 it's difficult to know what the correct postal rate would have been.

This next cover is from Antigua to Wells in 1841.  The letter was charged 1/-.  The contents relate to shipments of sugar.

And finally the letter below was sent to Cyprus Poste Restante from Weston-super-Mare in August 1960 but was not claimed so was returned and was charged based on it being underfranked at 6d rather than 9d.

Wednesday 22 November 2023

More Taunton

Here are a few more Taunton covers.  The one below is from North Curry for Canada but has been underpaid at 3d, so received a large "1d" charge mark (probably at Taunton) and then a large "2" (cents) charge mark, probably at Toronto.

Next is printed matter from Taunton to Stogumber in September 1881 with an undated Taunton "776" 3-bar vertical oval cancel.  It has the imprint of Edwin Wotton & Co of Taunton.

The contents are about the bankruptcy of William and Albert Feathgerstone.


 The next item is not postal, being a receipted invoice dated Lady Day (25th March) 1929 from Hanwkes & Sons Ltd.  The receipt shows an early tractor pulling some agricultural machinery.

The next item, from February 1993 was not to be redirected, as it was about a redirection request.

And finally here is a Taunton SID (Self-Inking Datestamp) on another redirection form, dated March 1999 - and bearing an impressive £26 of stamps.

Sunday 19 November 2023

Taunton Too Late, 1829

The entire below has a really crisp example of the Taunton "TOO LATE" cachet.  It was used in September 1829 and must have been soon after the introduction of the handstamp which is known used from 1829 to 1843.

The entire is from Taunton to Dublin with a postal charge of 1/3d.  This would have been 1/- for the General Post from Taunton to Holyhead via Shrewsbury, plus 1d for the Menai Bridge, plus 2d for the Holyhead-Dublin packet.

Wednesday 15 November 2023

Wellington and Wells - Money Order Savings Bank cancels

Here are two examples of Money Order & Savings Bank cancels, from Wellington and from Wells.  The first, from Wellington is a postcard from November 1912.

The second, a registered and fragile envelope is from Wells in June 1901.  The blue diagonal lines mean 'Fragile' and that the letter should not be transferred by railway T.P.O. equipment.

Both Wellington and Wells had to have the county name (or an abbreviation) in their cancels, to distinguish from Wellington (Shropshire) and Wells (Norfolk).

Sunday 12 November 2023

Yeovil, and Yeovilton

A series of covers from Yeovil starting with a 4-bar vertical oval (4VOD) cancel from 1870.  It's sometimes difficult to date these, but in the example below there is a manuscript date on the reverse of 9th December 1870.

The large OHMS envelope below was sent in August 1900 and has oval "REGISTERED / YEOVIL" cancels.

A postcard to Trowbrige om June 1927 with a "YEOVIL.SOM" Krag cancel - and a sticker for Yeovil Carnival.

More modern now, some meter mail from Yeovil with a triangular Royal Mail Quality Control Yeovil cachet saying that the meter mark has the wrong date - firms had to remember to update the date manually at the start of a new day.

And finally a certificate of posting with a Yeovilton Royal Navy Station postmark from April 1995, and a Savings Certificate form with a preprinted address for the post office.

Wednesday 8 November 2023

Wellington and Wincanton - two early covers

A couple of early handstamps, first from Wellington in January 1783.  The "WELLING / TON" handstamp is known used from 1780 to 1783.

Secondly a "WIN / CANTON" handstamp from 1790.  The handstamp is known used from 1785 to 1791.  One of the problems with early letters (that don't go to London) is working out what route the post would have taken, to match with the postal charge.

Sunday 5 November 2023

American Forces in UK during WW II

During WW II there were a large number of American soldiers and support staff in the UK.   Below is a cover postmarked APO 511, dated 2nd October 1943, addressed to the War Department Public Relations Bureau.

In August 1944 Americans over here had to apply for a postal vote in the  US elections due in November. Below is a postcard applying for such a vote from Harold Oliver in the 1000th Quartermaster Baker Company situated at the Musgrove Park Evacuation Hospital in Taunton.

The postmark is for APO 511 - replies were sent via a New York address rather than to a physical address in the UK - as that would potentially give away the disposition of US forces abroad.

The cover below is postmarked APO 167, dated 17th June 1944;  APO 167 was at Bincombe, 4 miles north of Weymouth, at the time.  The return address is APO 403, Third Army, which was at Knutsford.

APO 551 was in England from October 1943 until November 1945.  When the cover below was posted in August 1944, it was a Haddon Hill, about 19 miles west of Taunton and 4 miles east of Dulverton.