Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Minehead (1788) and Bath (1792)

A couple of fairly recent acquisitions from the 18th century  (one has to make some really tricky decisions doing this, for example whether one put them in alphabetical or chronological order !).

First an entire from Minehead to Nether Stowey near Bridgwater with a two-line "MINE / HEAD" handstamp and the postal rate, 3d, for two stages (which matches the 25 miles from Minehead to Bridgwater).

And then an entire from Bath to London from 1792, charged 10d, which was the double rate, as it had an enclosure.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Map of Somerset Penny Posts

The other set of maps I scribbled were the extents of the different Penny Posts across Somerset.  What I've ended up doing is taking the individual Penny Post maps and superimposing them on an image of Greenwood's map of 1821/29 of the Turnpike Roads in Somerset.

The superimposition is not exact and I may have another go at it - one wants the detail in the modern map to find the position of the Receiving Houses etc. but the road network as it was in the 1830s, so it is not straightforward to do.

The other thing that is needed on the map are the main Post Roads.  One should probably also add the Penny Posts from Post Towns outside Somerset that served towns inside Somerset (eg. Tiverton in Devon, Sherborne in Dorset).

It's also a bit of a muddle from a time perspective - not all the Penny Posts ran to their full extents at the same time ... but I found it fairly illuminating on the relationships and boundaries between the Penny Posts.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Taking Stock - and some Maps

It's now just about two years since I started this blog.  In that time I've managed to work my way through the larger places in Somerset (and those with the older postal history), at least those places that I have material for.

After a brief diversion onto some maps that I've "scribbled", I shall start working my way through the smaller villages in Somerset, those with UDC, Climax Rubber or CDS (double circle double-arc) cancels - with brief forays back into the older postal history of Somerst as I get any new (old) material.


Now for a few maps I've "scribbled" to do with Bath.  There is a site,, that allows one to scribble on maps - when I started playing with the site it was free, but there is now a $5 charge per month for the Pro features (I managed to get most of what I wanted to do done before the charges came in).

One thing I used the site for was to plot out the extent of the postal service managed out of Bath for:

  1. the Penny Post period,
  2. the Undated Circular cancel (UDC) period, 
  3. the Rubber Climax cancels,
  4. and the addresses that came under Bath in 1972 (taken from "Postal Addresses", March 1972 issued by The Post Offfice.
Here are the series of four maps, to the same approximate scale.  Where there is a number in a circle, that indicates that there are that number of points there, within the scale of the map.

It is interesting to see that the area managed by Bath expands after the Penny Post period, staying approximately the same for UDCs (mainly 1844-1857) and Rubber Climax handstamps (1885-1933), and then shrank back, so that by 1972 the area served from Bath was similar to that in the Penny Post period.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Dunster Beach and St. Audries Bay seasonal post offices

Bother Dunster Beach and St. Audries Bay were seasonal post offices.  Dunster Beach was open June to September 1937-1939 and 1951-1978.  Here are a couple of philatelic examples from 1959 and 1961.
St. Audries Bay was open April to September from about 1949 to about 1973.  Here is another philatelic example from 1959.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Dunster - Part 2 (20th & 21st Century)

Here are a more modern series of Dunster cancels, starting with squared circle cancels, ...
... and moving on to a single-ring cancel, ...

... and then double circle double-arc cancels.
 Finally a special commemorative cancel for the "COASTLINE DUNSTER MINEHEAD".

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Dunster - Part 1 (19th century)

Firstly an introduction from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland of 1868.
Here is an example of the second Dunster mileage mark, in use from 1820-1843 (the earlier mark was smaller and known used from 1810-1816).
Here are a series of handstamps (and cancels) - the Dunster UDC in a serif font (more on this handstamp in a later post), the "778" numeric obliterator and the Dunster double-arc dated handstamp.
 Another (fainter) example of the Dunster UDC.
 And again the "778" numeric obliterator with the double-arc dated handstamp.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013


I've already posted up the first item for Williton - the "No.6" receiving house handstamp from the Taunton Penny Post.  Williton was in the Taunton Penny Post after the 1828 reorganisation of the Taunton Penny Post.
In 1844 number "777" was allocated to Williton.
Williton became a Railway Sub-Office (R.S.O.) in 1870, then came under Taunton again in 1895.  Here is a squared circle cancel from 1904.
Williton was briefly a Post Town between 1909 and 1911.  This skeleton cancel was in use from 12th to 24th December 1909.
And finally a selection of double circle couble-arc cancels from 1933 to 1974.

Sunday, 7 July 2013


A selection of items with Radstock postmarks.  Firstly some Radstock "358" vertical duplex cancels (the envelope is from Stuckeys Banking Co. as can be seen from the scan of the reverse) ...
... and a single ring cancel.
 An item with some interesting marks !
 A couple of special commemorative cancels.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Yeovilton Royal Naval Air Station

Here is a registered envelope from Yeovilton (the address on the back says R.N. Air Station) from 1947.

Some special commemorative cancels associated with the Royal Naval Air Station at Yeovilton.