Sunday, 30 April 2017

Confectionary mail in Taunton

Here are a couple of confectionary related calling cards posted within Taunton, the first coming from August 1969.  The card has been updated from the imprinted 4d (printed matter rate) to 5d, the new first class rate introduced from September 1968.

The reverse of the card has a list of Cadbury's products that could be ordered.

The second calling card is from March 1971, just after Decimalisation in February 1971.  The old 4d printed franking has been uprated by ½p, though this does not seem enough.

The reverse has a list of Rowntree's products that could be ordered.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

"Mifsent to" Taunton

Here are some more missent letters, starting with a cover to Otterton Devon that was missent to Taunton in September 1817.  It is likely that the letter was put in the wrong bag at Exeter.  The letter is marked "Mifsent to Taunton" in manuscript.

This next missent letter in March 1821 is from London to Croford, which is near Wiveliscombe.  It was originally addressed to "Croford, Somersetshire", to which "Taunton" was incorrectly added, and then it was changed to "Wiveliscombe".  The letter is marked "Mifsent to" with a Taunton circular mileage mark.

Thirdly we come to October 1845 when a letter addressed to "Chew Magna, Somerset" was marked as "Mifsent to " with a Taunton double arc datestamp, Chew Magna (and Clutton where the entire should have been addressed to) coming under Bristol rather than Taunton.

Finally in November 1860 a letter addressed to "Wiveliscombe, Taunton" received a two-line "MISSENT TO / TAUNTON" handstamp, Wiveliscombe by then coming under Wellington.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

"Mifsent to" Wellington

Here are a couple of items missent to Wellington.  This first one, from August 1828, was from Glastonbury to Wiveliscombe and was missent to Wellington - the mail for Wiveliscombe used to go through Wellington but with the introduction of a new mail coach from Taunton to Barnstaple, the mail went through Taunton - hence the missent mark written as "Mifsent to" with a Wellington mileage mark.

This next missent item was from Taunton to "Nr Wellington" but was the Wellington in Shropshire not the Wellington in Somerset - hence the missent mark written as "Mifsent to" with a circular Wellington/Som datestamp from October 1862.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

More Bits of Bath

Some more bits of Bath starting with a fairly early boxed No.3 receiving house handstamp from June 1816.  The boxed "No.3" handstamp was in use at Walcot.

This next part entire has a 3-line Bath Penny Post handstamp with just the year, 1837 (no day, month),  as the date.  I've only found such handstamps from 1837.

Here is another Bath Penny Post item, from December 1837 with an unboxed "No.1" receiving house handstamp.  The address inside of "Chatley near Beckington" reinforces the assignment of the "No.1" handstamp to either Beckington or to Norton St Philip 3 miles to its north.  Chatley is actually closer to Norton St Philip than to Beckington and Norton St Philip has the "No.1" receiving house handstamp in the Frome Penny Post.  Unfortunately I don't have an example of the "No.1" handstamp in the Frome Penny Post to compare.

Next a couple of fairly ordinary Bath double arc handstamps, code C, from 1840.

And finally a 1d pink envelope from 1850 with a black "HARLEY-ST" handstamp on the reverse.  A "HARLEY.ST / BATH" two line handstamp had already been in use, known from 1842 to 1850 in black, 1851-1852 in blue and 1853 in yellow, so the usage of the handstamps appears to overlap.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Selection of Skeletons

Here are a random selection of Skeletons (should that be a "rattle" of skeletons ?) that I have recently acquired, starting with Burnham from November 1916 ...

... Chard from January 1925 ...

 ... Shepton Mallet from August 1916 ...

... Street and Glastonbury (two skeletons for the price of one !) from December 1921 ...

... Trull from June 1909 ...

... Uphill from March 1913 ...

... and Wincanton from March 1920.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017


Here are a couple of covers from Preston (near Yeovil) in the Yeovil Penny Post, with boxed "No.6" receiving house handstamps, the first from 1829 ...

... and the second from 1837.

Also from Yeovil, here is a nice envelope with a Yeovil slogan cancel from 1988, addressed to someone, unfortunately no long with us, whose name will  be familiar to members of the S&DPHG.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

West Town and "Wincaunton"

West Town is 8 miles WSW of Bristol, which is its Post Town.  It was in the Bristol Penny Post from 1816 and became an R.S.O. in 1861, at which point it was allocated post office number B45.  It went back under Bristol in 1895 and was replaced by 'Backwell' in 1951.  This entire has a straight line "WEST TOWN" handstamp with a date inside of March 1824.  This is currently the only example known.

And here is an early Wincanton handstamp, a "WINCAUN / TON" from 1776 (known 1773-1776).  An earlier straight line "WINCANTON" is known from 1769 but only in the archives.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017


Somerton gave its name to the county of Somerset.  Around 900 AD it was possibly the capital of Wessex, and was briefly, around the start of the 14th century, the county town. This first sheet has two examples of the "136 SOMER / TON" early mileage handstamp, from 1788 and 1789.  The handstamp is known from 1786 to 1790.

The next two sheets show examples of the framed "Somerton Penny Post" handstamp, from 1838 and 1839.

Finally, here is an example of the "720" 3-bar horizontal oval cancel of Somerton in blue used in 1850, with a blue "SOMERTON" double arc handstamp on the reverse

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Shipton Mallet and Shepton Mallet

This early entire, dated June 1801, has a "SHIPTON-MALLET" horseshoe handstamp.  Previous handstamps had also been spelled this way and subsequent ones were spelled "SHEPTON MALLET".

This next cover is from July 1840 and was prepaid 1d (no stamp).  Despite the absence of a stamp it was cancelled with a red Maltese Cross cancel - the cancel was not supposed to be used to cancel prepaid letters without stamps.