British Empire Exhibition – Registered Mail
IntroductionThe British Empire Exhibition stamps are well known as Britain's first commemorative postage stamps. Less well known is the fact that the Exhibition was the first event for which the Post Office produced special registration labels and a special 'Registered' handstamp.
This Exhibit has two purposes:
- To describe how registered mail sent from the Exhibition was handled and to illustrate the postal markings associated with that mail.
- To examine and, where necessary, to correct information that appears in previous publications on this subject, namely
- The reason that Type "D" temporary, or "dumb", registration labels were used from time to time instead of Type "C" labels incorporating "BRITISH EMPIRE EXHIBITION". See Sheet 2.
- Where the registered mail was handled, and the associated postal markings, when it left the Exhibition Post Offices. See Sheet 3.
Plan of Exhibit
Sheet 1 Introduction
Sheet 2 The registration labels
Sheet 3 The postal markings on registered mail
Sheet 4 1924 Palace of Engineering handstamp
Sheet 5 1925 Palace of Housing & Transport handstamp
Sheet 6 Registered handstamp proofs & samples
Sheets 7-8 Registered handstamp used in 1925
Sheet 9 'Dumb' registration label introduction
Sheets 10-12 Use of rectangular boxed BRITISH EMPIRE EXHIBITION handstamp on dumb label (3 of the 7 known examples)
Sheets 13-16 Use of manuscript BRITISH EMPIRE EXHIBITION endorsement on dumb label (4 of the 5 known examples)
Sheet 2 Envelope used on 23 April 1924, the opening day of the Exhibition, at the Palace of Industry
Sheet 3 EXPRESS item from the Palace of Engineering on 15 July 1924 with Label No. 427
Sheet 6 Proofs and samples of oval 'BRITISH EMPIRE EXHIBITION * REGISTERED' handstamp
Sheet 7 BEE Registered handstamp used on the front of a postcard dated 9 May 1925, the opening day of the 1925 Exhibition with Label No. 161 - likely to be unique used on the front on the first day
Sheet 9 One of only two known dumb labels car:icelled by a dated handstamp (Palace of Engineering 17 July 1924)
Sheet 11 Only known rectangular boxed BRITISH EMPIRE EXHIBITION handstamp cancelling a dumb label on a Palace of Industry item
'Stitt Dibden' - The Selected Works of W.G.Stitt Dibden "Vol. 1 Wembley & Olympic Issues The Stamps & Associated Postal Markings", published jointly by The Postal History Society and The G.B. Philatelic Society (c 1968)
'Pearson' - "Special Event Postmarks of the United Kingdom" by George R. Pearson, published by the British Postmark Society (1991)
'Knight & Sabey' "The Lion Roars at Wembley" by Donald R. Knight and Alan D. Sabey, published by Derek Knight (2003)
"Postal Museum' · The Postal Museum article "Wembley British Empire Exhibition" (https://catalogue.postalmuseum.org/collections/getrecord/GB813_P_150_03_03_01)