Wednesday, 28 December 2016

"CASTLE CARY S.O / SOMERSET" cancel from 1921

Castle Cary became a Railway Sub-Office in 1898, and then a Sub-Office / Post Town on 1st August 1905 when the Post Office stopped using the R.S.O. terminology.  

In 1920 it came back under Bath, having previously been under Bath before becoming an RSO in 1898.

The “CASTLE·CARY. S.O / SOMERSET” double circle double-arc cancel was previously known from October 1913 to September 1918.

The postcard below extends the known usage to October 1921, from after when Castle Cary moved back under Bath, and when it should really have been "CASTLE CARY / BATH".

Sunday, 25 December 2016

"More to Pay" or "Not Known"

Happy Christmas !

This cover from Bath to Reading in April 1861 has a nice "MORE TO PAY / OVER   OZ" cachet and a manuscript "2" with initials.

This next item was addressed to Clifton from Bridgwater in May 1883 but has a manuscript "Not Known" with initials.  The contents are a notice regarding the Somersetshire Drainage Act of 1877.

 This next item from Weston-super-Mare to Cork in June 1942 was insufficiently paid and was censored.  The Examiner has taken the trouble to write "The" on the censorship seal where it overlaid the original address.

And finally a windowed envelope from Taunton in March 1992 without a stamp.  By then postage due of double the deficiency had been replaced with the postage deficiency plus a handling fee.  In this case it was cheaper than double the deficiency would have been.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

A couple more UDCs - Cheddar, Widcombe, both in Brown

Here is an example of the first Cheddar UDC, issued on 7th December 1847 under Wells, here used on 13th December 1848 in brown.

And here is an example of the first Widcombe UDC, issued on 2nd November 1844 under Bath, here used on 24th January 1847 in brown.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Village Penny Post handstamps under Bristol

In 1839 new types of village Penny Post handstamps started to be introduced (just in time to be made unnecessary with the introduction of the uniform penny post).  Five such handstamps were introduced under Bristol - Brockley, Knowle, Redland, Westbury-on-Trym and Whitchurch.  The handstamps were used for approximately ten years.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

A Trio of Maltese Crosses - Glastonbury, Langport & Wells

Here are three Maltese Crosses, starting with a red MX from Glastonbury in January 1841, unfortunately somewhat blurred and unclear.

Next a nice crisp black MX from Langport in December 1842.

And finally a good black MX from Wells in January 1842.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Ilminster and Minehead Free franks, South Petherton, Somerton

A couple of Free franks, starting with one from Ilminster to Chard franked by "Poulett" in November 1828 ...

 ... and an earlier one from Minehead to Exeter franked by "T.D. Acland" in December 1817.

Staying with Minehead, here is a very poor Maltese Cross from July 1841.

This next item is from South Petherton (which must have come under Somerton at the time) in December 1806.

And finally a poor Somerton mileage mark from June 1827.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Cross Penny Post, Dunster in 5th Clause Post, Old-Down in Bath Penny Post

Weston-super-Mare had the boxed "No.2" receiving house handstamp in the Cross Penny Post.  Here is an example from September 1831.

Dunster had the boxed "No.4" receiving house handstamp in the Taunton Fifth Clause Post up to 1828 (Mr Luttrell of Dunster Castle objecting to any conversion to Penny Post because he would then have to pay for his newspapers' delivery in the post).  This example is from April 1825.

Here is an example of the Dunster undated circular handstamp from August 1846 with the date written in manuscript inside the handstamp.

This pre-printed insturance letter was initially sent to "Wells, Somerset or Stratton near Chilcompton, Bath" and then returned from Old Down to London in July 1830.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Chard, Frome, Martock

This fairly common "CHARD / 142" handstamp from 1817 has some interesting comments, being instructions to book "a place in the Maid to Chard, no other Coach passes through Chard", with the writer saying that he would meet the coach at "Windowhistle" (now Windwhistle) "if the weather be fine and the lanes passable".

Two examples of another fairly common handstamp, the "FROME / 115" handstamp, from 1825 and 1826.  The first example appears to have been posted on Christmas Day.

And finally two examples of the undated circular "MARTOCK / 126" handstamp, from 1826 and 1827.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Bridg(e)water, North Petherton

Three sheets from Bridgwater, starting with the "BRIDGEWATER / 150" undated circular mileage handstamp with examples from 1826 and 1827.

Here is another example from 1826, the contents being an account from an ironmonger.

North Petherton was a Receiving House in the Bridgewater Penny Post from 1834.  No special Receiving House handstamp is known, a "NORTH-PETHERTON" undated circular handstamp being used instead.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Offices under Bath - Limpley Stoke (Wilts), Norton St. Philips

Limpley Stoke is on the Somerset county boundary with Wiltshire, but came under Bath.  Here is a 23mm "LIMPLEY-STOKE" handstamp dated September 1874.

The next two sheets have smaller 20mm "LIMPLEY.STOKE" handstamps from 1893 to 1909 ...

... with a postcard showing a picture of Limpley Stoke church.

And finally here is a Norton St Philips (aka Philips Norton) handstamp from July 1890.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Offices under Bath - Chewton-Mendip, Combe Down, Hinton Charterhouse

Staying with Bath, here are some marks from rural offices under Bath starting with Chewton Mendip from June 1890 ...

... a single ring cancel from Combe-Down from June 1914 ...

... and two postcards from Hinton Charterhouse, Bath from 1905 and 1906.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Bath Town Sub-Offices - Grosvenor, High St., Holloway

A few Bath TSO (Town Sub-Office) marks now, starting with a "GROSVENOR / BATH" single ring handstamp from 1869.  This handstamp was issued in January 1866, and a new smaller handstamp was issued in October 1869.

This registered cover to Bordeaux is back stamped "HIGH.ST / BATH" in January 1890.

Finally an envelope with a "HOLLOWAY / BATH" back stamp dated January 1878.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016


A trio of sheets from Crewkerne, starting with a wrapper dated March 1784 with a nice two-line "CREWK / ERN" - according to the British County Catalogue this handstamp was previously only known in 1783.

Next are a couple of examples of the "CREWKERNE / 135" handstamp from 1826, the second franked "Poulett" but signed Naylor, so appears to be an abuse of the franking privilege.

Lastly a nice red "CREWKERNE" double arc handstamp dated January 1849.  The contents are interesting, acknowledging receipt of a Post Office order - money orders had been introduced in 1838.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Minehead - attempted re-use of postage stamp in 1842

This entire from Minehead in February 1842 has an attempt to reuse a postage stamp - this was spotted by the Post Office and the recipient was charged 2d, twice the postal rate of 1d.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Minehead to Orkney, 1807

Here is an entire from Minehead to Kirkwall, Orkney in November 1807.

I required assistance from the internet to understand the postal charge of 1/7d - it appears that either there was an extra 1d charge for the ferry across from Wick to Orkney, or the entire went a long way round (no obvious candidates for the route), or the clerk in Edinburgh got it wrong.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

UDCs - Stoneaston, Timsbury, Weston

The envelope shown below has a Stoneaston UDC in blue, from May 1856.

Timsbury had three UDC handstamps issued - the envelope below, from June 1850, shows an example of the second.

The late-type Weston UDC on the entire below, from March 1860, is currently the only example known.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

UDCs - Milverton, Philips Norton, Beckington

The entire below has a Milverton UDC from January 1849.  The UDC was issued under Wellington.

The entire below from July 1848 has a Philip's Norton (aka Norton St Philips) UDC in red and a black Beckington UDC.

The contents are a pedigree or family tree:

The envelope below has a Philips Norton UDC in black, from December 1850.