It has recently come to my notice from a visit to Herm Island and via our Committee Member, John Triggs, that things have changed at Herm Island from a postal perspective. In the first place, there is now no officially paid Sub-Postmaster in situ although the Herm Gift Shop does run a counter and still has the original self-inking datestamp. This, seemingly, can be used by invitation only, evidenced by the lady at the counter being prepared to cancel the postage stamp on a postcard I sent to myself by favour.
It appears, however, that ordinarily. the mail is collected uncancelled at the Gift Shop, placed in a mail bag which is then taken by the last Trident Ferry of the day for passage to St. Peter Port where it is collected from the boat and transferred to the La Vranque sorting office. It is here that all uncancelled mail is franked but with the La Vranque datestamp being used.
The upshot of all this is that, unlike Alderney and Sark which remain as Sub-Post Offices in their own right, the new 34mm datestamp recently issued in Guernsey to the Head Post Office and Sub-Post Offices will not be available to Herm. How long the old Self Inking datestamp will be available for use is open to question.
This month, Jersey Post has also celebrated 50 years of Postal Independence from the British Postal Service. To mark the occasion, they have issued a set of eight commemorative stamps and a prestige booklet entitled “Jersey Post – 50 Years of Postal History, 1969 -2019”. In addition, they are offering a postal history themed “Offer of the Month”.
This takes the form of their 2006 Prestige Booklet “Postal History II – Postal Vehicles” which is available at half price. Usually costing £10.67, this can be obtained for £5.33 during the month of October whilst stocks last.
At the invitation of Guernsey Post, David Winnie, Chairman, was invited to attend a Reception on the 1st October to celebrate 50 years to the day since the Island’s postal service became independent. It was on 1 October 1969 that Guernsey broke away from Great Britain’s General Post Office to stand on its own two feet. A free exhibition to mark the fact is taking place at St. James throughout October. Spread over three floors including the stairway, it features 22 stamp issues that span the last 50 years.
Our Committee Member and local resident, John Triggs, was also in attendance together with his wife, and introduced me to the Chief Executive, Boley Smillie, Bridget Yabsley, Head of Philatelic and Dawn Gallienne, Head of Corporate Engagement who have been busy sorting through the original artwork of half a century’s worth of stamp designs with a view to choosing a selection to represent each decade.
This introduction provided a good opportunity for me to mention that the CISS will be 70 years old in 2020 and to celebrate, a long weekend has been arranged in Guernsey for our members from the 24th – 26th April next year. This was welcomed and Guernsey Post would like to support us with this event so “watch this space”.
The exhibition is well worth a visit and is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm until Thursday 31st October 2019. A free booklet is available to visitors at St. James.