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Previous Covers / Photos of the month - 2010

December Cover of the Month - 1D. LETTER SHEET FORME 1 A1, S.G.ME1

The Mulready was used from Belfast to Southam, Warwickshire 24 February 1846, Irish 1844-type '62' numeral cancellation, Belfast code 'C' date stamp on the reverse, diamond code '4A' date stamp 25 February, Southam arrival the following day. This was lot 19 from the recent Sotheby's sale of our Patron's collection, Lady Mairi Bury, FRPSL. This lot was unsold so if you are interested you might be able to pick it up.

To view the full catalogue with the prices realised please click on this link which will only be active for a short time. This will take you to lot 1 and you can enter details of the lot you are interested in by entering its number in the 'jump to' box.

Belfast Mulready Envelope 1
Birds Post and Go

GB has published its first pictorial Post and Go stamps, with new designs that feature British Birds. The issue first appeared on 17th September 2010. To create space for the pictures the current over printed details to the stamps have been condensed. The first 6 digits are a reference to the location of the post office applying the overprint. There were thirty reported 'Post & Go' sites for the birds issue with Belfast being the only Northern Ireland office used for this issue. The Belfast code is 011704. The example to the left shows a Stampex printed stamp cancelled with a Birmingham Special Event Cachet. Does anyone have an example printed and used in Belfast?

MauriceBurseyCover MauriceBurseyThumb

October 2010 - Missent Australia

The cover to the letter contained a winning bid of Irish Postal History as sold by one of our members, Tom Watson. Its destination was a very happy Maurice Bursey from North Carolina, USA, but unfortunately the cover never arrived. Then out of the blue Tom received a letter from Maurice outlining that the appropriately addressed cover to USA had been 'MISSENT TO AUSTRALIA'. It had been cancelled by a roller mark, unlike the modern UK Biro and finally travelled the four hemispheres before reaching its ultimate destination. So if your ebay lot goes missing, hang on as you may get more than you bargained for. If you have any stories like this let me know.

Aughnacloy 7 Oct 1920 Skeleton

September 2010 - Aughnacloy PPC.

The postcard to the left was posted from Auhnacloy to London on 7 October 1920. The 1d stamp is cancelled with a 34mm single ring skeleton reading AUGHNACLOY / CO. TYRONE / 12PM / 7 OC / 20. When did such a mark get introduced to Aughnacloy? Was the original cancel lost? How long was this mark in use? Does anyone have other examples that might help date the use of this skeleton?

Aughintain Post Office September 2010 - Aughintain Post Office is recorded by Frank & Stange as opening between 1861-3. It was a rural sub office initially under Fivemiletown and I suspect in later years under Clogher. The office was located at 17 Aughintain Road, Clogher and in 1994 the red phone box was still visible outside. Mackay records a single ring proof dated 22 May 1904 however I do not have any other marks in my collection for this office. Can anyone shed any light on to the history of this office in the rural hinterland of Clogher. The work by A W Graham had recorded various postmasters and these are listed at the Augintain post mark page, which can be found here. I look forward to hearing from you on this office. Happy hunting!
Park More PO

Parkmore Post Office Glenarriff, County Antrim
What can you tell us about Park More Post Office located near Glenarriff in the early 1900's? The picture above is taken from an old post card dating to June 1921. There is a similar picture in the National Gallery of Ireland in the Lawrence Cabinet with a note of coverage 1880-1914 period. Do you have further details or a postmark from here that we can add to the database? Do you have a photo that you would like featured next month, then please do send it to us.

Thanks to John and Jim for details of the opening date as Jan 1872 and closing in 1979. Postmarks located here.

Strandtown Skeleton

August Cover of the Month - Strandtown Skeleton

August 2010 - Strandtown Co. Down

Strandtown Post Office opened in Belfast in the Belmont Road area between 1857-9. It was allocated numeral 536 which is recorded from 1892. Previously an english single ring date stamp was recorded. The update to the Strandtown Post Office includes an image of a 27mm Double Ring and a 35mm Skeleton, both previously unrecorded and both in english. Do you have an obliterator mark for 536 or a copy of the single ring datestamp that can be added to this selection? Can you provide any further information on this post office? Thanks to David for this months images. Since this was originally posted Jim has provided copies of further post marks which have been added. Further are also available from Tony Grahams collection and these will be uploaded over the next few weeks.



July 2010 - Hillsboro Undated Circle

The attached cover sent from Hillsboro to the Marquis of Downshire, Berks is struck with a blue undated circle for Hillsboro, County Down, size 25.5mm in diameter with seriffed letters making it a William Kane Type 4A. The Free marking is dated 10 Feb 1835. Can anyone shed any light on to the dates of use for this mark. Is this the earliest recorded Hillsboro udc? Please let us know.

Update - Kane lists HILLSBORO as in use from 1834-6 so that sums up this one as an obvious use within that period.

ICL Censor

April 2010 Cover of the Month - HMS Argenta

HMS Argenta was built under contract in July 1917 by National Shipbuilding Company in Orange, Texas, originally as a Wooden Steamer Cargo Ship. Launched May 1919 and used in US until late 1921. As early as Nov 1919 it had signs of leaks and was declared unseaworthy in May 1922, then being sold as a prison ship. Following the 1922 uprising it was used as a British Military Base and Prison Ship for holding Irish Republicans. By February 1923 the British were detaining 263 men on the Argenta, moored of the coast of Larne.

The image to the left is a cover postmarked 31 AU 1931, Larne Co. Antrim. It has a red diamond 28mm x 17mm with the words, 'PASSED BY CENSOR I.C.L.' We believe this to be associated with the Prison Ship Argenta. Can anyone provide us with further details on the use of this cachet? An old image of HMS can be viewed here.

Northern Parliament

March 2010

51 Years after it began, the Northern Ireland Parliament was prorogued on 28 March 1972. The GB issue, Ulster '71 paintings set is cancelled by NORTHERN PARLIAMENT BELFAST cds (Code T) on 28 March 1972. This cover bears a commemorative label and has been registered. Curiously, in view of the address of this cover - Sunningdale Drive, one of the first attempts to restore local government to Northern Ireland was the Sunningdale Agreement, signed in Berkshire in 1973.

This cover is extracted froma members' display on the Ulster Connection which can be viewed by clisking here. Last months cover can be viewed here.


February 2010
This cover with a 5c President James Garfield stamp is tied to the cover by a New York duplex handstamp showing the date DEC13, with the year date 87 at the foot between dial and vertical barred ellipse obliterator. The letter was sent 'Per Republic' which was a ship built by Harland & Wolff, Belfast in 1871 for the White Star Line.

On 27th January 1889, as Republic was approaching New York on her final White Star sailing, she ran aground off Sandy Hook and was refloated five hours later. After she docked a boiler flue exploded scalding ten crew members, fatally injuring three of them. The Captain reported to his company and newspapermen that damage to the ship was slight!

The interesting fact is that the Captain was none other than Edward J. Smith, later in command of the ill-fated Titanic. See other details in the 'Letter from America' Member's Display.







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