THE STAMPS OF THE CHANNEL ISLANDS
Guernsey and Jersey
The Channel Islands are part of the British Isles and they used British stamps until October 1969. However during the German Occupation, locally printed stamps were in use. Between 1958 and 1969, the British Post Office issued Regional stamps for both Guernsey and Jersey, with 2½d, 3d, 4d and 5d values issued. There were changes from watermarked to unwatermarked paper. Phosphor and non-phosphor variants exist for the 3d and 4d values. The 4d value exists in three different colours – blue, brown and red.
Both Guernsey and Jersey gained Postal Independence on 1 October 1969. Definitives, commemoratives, booklets and postage due stamps were then issued for both Islands. Jersey issued its first miniature sheet in June 1975 and its first Year Book in 1986.
The Guernsey Post Office began issuing stamps for Alderney in 1983. The first set was an
attractive series of low value definitives. The first miniature sheet was issued in 1995 to commemorate ‘the 50th Anniversary of the Return of the Islanders to Alderney’.
Since 1969 and 1983, there have been many attractive stamps issued for the Islands, including annual EUROPA issues. Many of the designs have either commemorated important Island historical events or illustrated interesting themes such as famous Islanders, aircraft, birds, animals and churches. Christmas stamps are issued annually for both Guernsey and Jersey.
Mint, presentation packs and first day covers of these stamps can be collected.
This Company produced stamps for use on the parcel service they operated between the islands. The stamps were used on the Alderney route in the 1960s, and on the Sark route in the 1950s and 1960s. These form an unusual collection.
Alderney Parcel Delivery Service
This service was set up in 1974 for the carriage of parcels to and from Alderney.
Sark being part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey has used Guernsey stamps since October 1969. However, one Guernsey set was issued to commemorate the famous Dame of Sark. Additionally, Sark did issue a set of local labels in 1965 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Island′s settlement. However, these had no postal validity and were issued to raise money for a children’s playground. Labels have also been produced for the Isle of Sark Shipping Company.
Originally there was Post Office on Herm between 1925 and November 1938. As for Guernsey during this period, British stamps were used at this time. A ‘HERM, GUERNSEY, CHANNEL ISLANDS’ postmark was used during this period on outgoing mail. Examples on postcard or cover are scarce.
During 1948, the Guernsey Post Office used a slogan meter mark inscribed ‘Herm can give you an
enchanting holiday amid Peace and Tranquility’. Again, examples of this cancellation are scarce.
In 1949, the Tenant of Herm, Mr A.G. Jeffries started his own postal service from Herm. This was to defray costs of carrying mail from Herm to St Peter Port in Guernsey. The first stamps or carriage labels using this service were issued in May 1949. These were a set of 4 definitives showing a Herm map together with a Pigeon Service stamp. There were many different printings of the Map definitives that make a fascinating study. Many different Herm stamps were issued in the period 1949 until 30 September 1969. Proofs and colour trials can be found for several issues.
On 1 October 1969, the Guernsey Post Office opened a new sub Post Office on Herm and the Herm labels and stamps became invalid for postage. Guernsey stamps are now used in Herm. A Herm date stamp is used to cancel mail.
This Island has never had an official postal service, but local stamps were issued for Jethou between July 1960 and 30 September 1969. These form an interesting collection especially as proofs and colour trials exist for many of their issues. These local stamps were banned on 1 October 1969 with the introduction of Guernsey Postal Independence.
Local stamps also exist for Brecqhou and Lihou.
Revenue stamps have also been used in Alderney, Guernsey and Jersey. These did not have postal validity. Special SALES TAX stamps were used in Guernsey during the German Occupation. These can be found on invoices etc.