30th April 2019 Channel Islands Postal History – Richard Fleming

At our last presentation before the summer break the society welcomed Richard Fleming who presented material from Channel Islands. Richard started by explaining his connection with the Channel Islands: during World War II his father had served as a member of the Luftwaffe in the German Occupation of the islands, after which he became a prisoner of war in England and, as he came from a town in East Germany, ended up staying here. Richard started with a 1716 cover from London to Guernsey and explained how forwarding agents would arrange for mail to be carried by private ships – on top of the postage rate, there was an additional 3d charge: 1d each for the forwarding and receiving agents and 1d for the ship’s captain. In 1794 the Channel Islands became part of the British postal system and we saw a range of hand stamps on cover. Post could be sent for 3d on the twice-weekly packet, or 8d by private vessels – many Channel Islanders refused to pay the 8d rate and the Post Office introduced a £5 fine for mail sent privately, as well as reducing the rate to 6d in 1814. The first half finished with a couple of interesting letters including one from June 1815 with a first-hand description of the Battle of Waterloo.

Banbury Stamp society will have its first meeting on Tuesday 17 th September at 7:30pm at Hanwell Fields Community Centre when Terry Hare-Walker will talk about South African Airmails. We would also like to extend an invitation to the Banbury Festival of Stamps on Sunday 10 th November at BGN School where there will be stamp dealers, refreshments and the Midlands Philatelic Federation Convention being held jointly with the Thames Valley Philatelic Federation. Look out for more details in October, or see our contact details at the end of this article.

The second half started with mail to France – which was often quicker via England! In 1843 it was agreed that St. Malo, Granville and Cherbourg could be used as receiving ports in France, giving mail with French postmarks on British stamps. We then had mail to the rest of the world which included a newspaper sent to New York for 1d when the letter rate was 1s. We finished with some POW and Concentration camp mail followed by German forces occupation mail. The latter included a letter from Richard’s father’s posting in the 4 th anti-aircraft battery on Alderney

The Banbury Stamp Society is on-line at ‘www.banburystampsociety.co.uk’, or contact John Davies on 01295 255831.