Stamp Club’s error-strewn display

editorial image

Errors in the production of British stamps, the issues of the Channel Islands during the Nazi occupation and Victorian illustrated envelopes formed the display by Jake Coltman to fellow members.

The errors shown included those due to missing colours, colour register resulting in image distortion and mis-perforation.

During the German occupation of the Channel Islands from 1940-45, supplies of postage stamps ran out and so various types of paper were used in their production. With the head of King George VI obviously not allowed, views of the area were used but unbeknown to the Germans the design included the Royal Cyper!

In 1840 when the use of an envelope no longer meant double the postage rate, stationers produced a range featuring various designs and as a means of highlighting campaigns at the time.

By kind permission of his widow, a collection formed by A.B. Johnstone, a member in the 1980s and highly regarded in philatelic circles throughout the country, was shown to members.

This was a weekly series he produced for a national philatelic magazine in Britain highlighting the many errors in design on stamps from around the world. Writing under the pseudonym of ‘Jack La Roche’, the series was entitled ‘To err is human’.

One such error had a local connection and occurred on a Pitcairn Islands stamp. Jane Moverley, who with her husband, the schoolteacher, supervised the building of the Pitcairn school and adjacent schoolhouse in 1948-50. The school image was used on the 8d stamp but without the schoolhouse. The lady spent the last few years of her life in Minto village, her ashes being scattered on Minto Hill.

Others included the wrong people commemorated, wrong inscriptions and Christopher Columbus with a telescope!

There was a further similar selection of his contributions to the American ‘Linns Stamp Weekly’ from 1982-84 entitled ‘Errors in stamp design!’