SHOW MENU

Wilding Castles

Introduction

On the accession of Queen Elizabeth II in 1952 new high values were required.

The Festival high values of King George Vi were issued in 1951 and included pictorial designs. The GPO decided to continue using pictorial designs and feature castles, one from each region. Various essays were submitted. Due to delays in preparing acceptable designs the stamps were not issued until 1955.

Waterlow printed the first stamps in 1955. The contract was transferred to De La Rue in 1958 who printed the stamps until 31 December 1962. From 1 January 1963 the printing contract was taken over by Bradbury Wilkinson who printed the stamps until they were replaced by the Machin head design in 1969.

The exhibit covers the preparation of the issue and the development of the three printers. Usage of thje stamps on registered mail, telegrams, bank mail and express delivery is included. The exhibit illustrates some of the problems encountered by the printers and the errors that resulted.

Some of the information already published regarding this issue is incorrect or incomplete. The information has been updated through research into the GPO and printers' files and the examination of the existing printing plates at the British Postal Museum and Archive and is illustrated in the exhibit.

Waterlow and De La Rue placed markings in the margins as a guide to positioning the perforator. These guide markings differ between the two printers and were also changed during each printing contract. A pattern has been established in the change of these perforation guide markings, particularly in the case of the De La Rue printings. Through these changes it has been possible to examine the evolution of the different settings of the perforator which can be used to identify individual plates in many cases. Bradbury Wilkinson inserted plates numbers on the issued sheets and are included in the exhibit.

Waterlow and De La Rue altered the method of preparing the printing plates during their contracts. In the case of the Waterlow printing only the 2s6d value was changed but all values were affected in the De La Rue printings. The perforation guide markings serve as an aid to identify these changes. Bradbury Wilkinson uaed the same method to prepare the printing plates throughout their contract.

Bibliography

"The Queen Elizabeth II Waterlow Castle High Values 1955-1958" by Gerry Bater and The Lord Spens, published by the G.B. Overprints Society.

"UK Bankers' Mail Services in the 20th Century" by M.J.O'Hara, The GB Journal January/February 2006

Stamp Collecting, Stamp Magazine, Philatelic Magazine and Gibbons Stamp Monthly

"The Castle High Values" articles by R F Allen in Stamp Collecting in 1979

The Ian Hine Study of the De La Rue Perforation Settings

The Woodstock Catalogue of British Elizabethan Stamps

Files at the British Postal Museum and Archive

Stanley Gibbons Specialised Volume 3

Post Office Guides 1954-1969

British Philatelic Bulletin


(link)

Frame 1

Introduction
  1. Introduction
The Preparation
  1. Sheet 2
  2. Sheet 3
  3. Sheet 4
  4. Sheet 5
The Waterlow Printing 1955-1957
  1. Sheet 6
  2. Sheet 7
  3. Sheet 8
  4. Sheet 9
  5. Sheet 10
  6. Sheet 11
  7. Sheet 12
  8. Sheet 13
  9. Sheet 14
  10. Sheet 15
  11. Sheet 16
(link)

Frame 2

The Waterlow Printing 1955-1957 (cont)
  1. Sheet 17
  2. Sheet 18
  3. Sheet 19
  4. Sheet 20
  5. Sheet 21
  6. Sheet 22
  7. Sheet 23
  8. Sheet 24
  9. Sheet 25
  10. Sheet 26
  11. Sheet 27
The De La Rue Printing - Watermark St Edwards's Crown 1958-1959
  1. Sheet 28
  2. Sheet 29
  3. Sheet 30
  4. Sheet 31
  5. Sheet 32
(link)

Frame 3

The De La Rue Printing - Watermark St Edwards's Crown 1958-1959 (cont)
  1. Sheet 33
  2. Sheet 34
  3. Sheet 35
  4. Sheet 36
  5. Sheet 37
  6. Sheet 38
  7. Sheet 39
  8. Sheet 40
  9. Sheet 41
  10. Sheet 42
The De La Rue Printing - Watermark Multiple Crowns 1959-1962
  1. Sheet 43
  2. Sheet 44
  3. Sheet 45
  4. Sheet 46
  5. Sheet 47
  6. Sheet 48
(link)

Frame 4

The De La Rue Printing - Watermark Multiple Crowns 1959-1962 (cont)
  1. Sheet 49
  2. Sheet 50
  3. Sheet 51
  4. Sheet 52
  5. Sheet 53
  6. Sheet 54
  7. Sheet 55
  8. Sheet 56
  9. Sheet 57
  10. Sheet 58
  11. Sheet 59
  12. Sheet 60
  13. Sheet 61
  14. Sheet 62
  15. Sheet 63
  16. Sheet 64
(link)

Frame 5

The De La Rue Printing - Watermark Multiple Crowns 1959-1962 (cont)
  1. Sheet 65
  2. Sheet 66
  3. Sheet 67
  4. Sheet 68
  5. Sheet 69
  6. Sheet 70
  7. Sheet 71
  8. Sheet 72
  9. Sheet 73
  10. Sheet 74
The Bradbury Wilkinson Printing - Watermark Multiple Crowns 1963-1968
  1. Sheet 75
  2. Sheet 76
  3. Sheet 77
  4. Sheet 78
  5. Sheet 79
  6. Sheet 80
(link)

Frame 6

The Bradbury Wilkinson Printing - Watermark Multiple Crowns 1963-1968 (cont)
  1. Sheet 81
  2. Sheet 82
  3. Sheet 83
  4. Sheet 84
  5. Sheet 85
  6. Sheet 86
  7. Sheet 87
  8. Sheet 88
  9. Sheet 89
  10. Sheet 90
  11. Sheet 91
  12. Sheet 92
  13. Sheet 93
  14. Sheet 94
  15. Sheet 95
  16. Sheet 96
(link)

Frame 7

The Bradbury Wilkinson Printing - Watermark Multiple Crowns 1963-1968 (cont)
  1. Sheet 97
  2. Sheet 98
  3. Sheet 99
  4. Sheet 100
  5. Sheet 101
  6. Sheet 102
  7. Sheet 103
  8. Sheet 104
  9. Sheet 105
  10. Sheet 106
  11. Sheet 107
  12. Sheet 108
  13. Sheet 109
  14. Sheet 110
  15. Sheet 111
  16. Sheet 112
(link)

Frame 8

The Bradbury Wilkinson Printing - Watermark Multiple Crowns 1963-1968 (cont)
  1. Sheet 113
The Bradbury Wilkinson Printing - Unwatermarked 1967-1969
  1. Sheet 114
  2. Sheet 115
  3. Sheet 116
  4. Sheet 117
  5. Sheet 118
  6. Sheet 119
  7. Sheet 120
  8. Sheet 121
  9. Sheet 122
  10. Sheet 123
  11. Sheet 124
  12. Sheet 125
  13. Sheet 126
  14. Sheet 127
  15. Sheet 128