Guernsey and Jersey
As the Channel Islands were part of the British Isles from 1840 until the Channel Islands were granted postal independence on the 1st October 1969, the Islands used British stamps. However, during the German Occupation, due to a lack of British stamps, locally printed stamps were in use between 1941 and 1945 (see Occupation topic). 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 the 1st October 1969, allowing the islands to produce their own definitive stamps, commemoratives, stamp booklets and postage due stamps. Jersey issued its first miniature sheet on the 6th June 1975 and its first Yearbook in 1986. Guernsey produced its first miniature sheet with the Royal Wedding issue of 29th July 1981 and its first Yearbook in 1984.
The Guernsey Post Office began issuing stamps for Alderney in 1983.The first set was an attractive series of low value definitive stamps of island scenes. The first miniature sheet was issued in 1995 to commemorate ‘the 50th Anniversary of the Return of the Islanders to Alderney’.
Since 1969 there have been many attractive stamps issued for the Islands, including the annual EUROPA issue. 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.
Commodore Shipping Company Ltd
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 a Post Office on Herm between 1925 and November 1938. As for Guernsey during this period, British stamps were used for postage. A ‘HERM, GUERNSEY, CHANNEL ISLANDS’ postmark was used to cancel 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, although Herm stamps are sometimes applied to the cover and cancelled with a Herm datestamp. A Guernsey 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.