|BC603||Post & Go - Royal Mail Heritage - Mail by Sea - Bureau Stamps||£16.95||Limited Availability|
|BC603A||Post & Go - Royal Mail Heritage - Mail by Sea - Machine Stamps, with a Stampex Postmark||£16.95||Limited Availability|
|BC603A2||Post & Go - Royal Mail Heritage - Mail by Sea - Machine Stamps, with special Stampex Postmark||£16.95||Limited Availability|
|BC603B||Post & Go - Royal Mail Heritage - Mail by Sea - Machine Stamps||£17.95||Pre Order|
Issue Date: 14/02/2018
Issue Name: Post & Go - Royal Mail Heritage - Mail by Sea
Producer: Buckingham Covers
In Feb 2016 Royal Mail issued the Royal Mail Heritage: Transport set as part of the Royal Mail 500 celebrations. Post & Go issues in 2017 and 2018 will build on the theme, creating a series exploring the transportation of mail in greater detail.
Mail by Sea is the fourth issue in this series and follows Mail by Rail which was issued in February 2017 and Mail by Air which was issued in September 2017. This cover explores the history of Mail by Sea. Our Post & Go cover features all 6 Post & Go stamps and has a Southampton postmark.
Mail by Sea
In the late 19th century the system for posting mail on board ships was formalised by the Universal Postal Union.
Rather than having to go ashore when in port and buy stamps, from 1892 you could stick a stamp on, from the country where the ship was registered, hand your envelope to the purser or post it in a special post box on board. At the next port the mail would be taken ashore and the stamp postmarked with a special paquebot postmark.
Being an island nation these postmarks have always been sought after by collectors. Most of the major ships of the 20th century have covers; the Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth and QEII have paquebot covers marking their first major and, unfortunately, last journeys.
With a little research, and more good luck, these can sometimes be tied in with a new stamp issue. For the 1973 EEC issue you can get covers cancelled with a Calais paquebot postmark, so a British Issue postmarked in Europe and what could be better than the 1988 Spanish Armada cover, put aboard a ship to be postmarked on the issue date in Spain.
These postmarks are now getting harder and harder to find, but if you find yourself aboard a ship, why not stick a stamp on a letter, post it home and see what happens.
Want to see our all the covers in our 6th Series? Click here to view them all