The BPS Journal is published four time a year, at the end of January, April, July and October. Regular features include news about handstamps, stamp cancelling machines (both die-based and inkjet), slogan postmarks, special event postmarks, postal labels and instructional or explanatory markings, Post Office openings and closures, Mail Centre changes, computer-printed postage labels, and PPIs (printed postage impressions) of Royal Mail and of rival mail companies. The BPS Journal is distributed in printed form by post or as a PDF download. The cover of our latest issue, July 2019, can be downloaded here.
Books About Postmarks
The best general guide to our areas of collecting and study is the 9th Edition of 'Collect British Postmarks', published in December 2013 by Stanley Gibbons Ltd. The SG 8th Edition of 2011 was a successor to the 7th Edition published in 1997 by the British Postmark Society - itself based on the earlier works of the late Dr J T Whitney. This is a general guide to the study and collecting of British Postmarks from 1661 to the present. The latest edition further updates all types of postmarks and their prices, including the effects of recent reductions in the number of Mail Centres.
The British Postmark Society has published a number of books about particular types of postmark over the years, and the following are currently available:
'Special Event Postmarks of the UK' – five volumes covering 1851 to 2013, now also available in digital form - see the Digital Publications page.
Twenty Years of First Day Postmarks – 1963 to 1983
'Krag Machine Postmarks of Great Britain & Ireland' by Paul T Carter was published by the BPS in September 2012. The book covers Krag stamp-cancelling machines used in Great Britain, Northern Ireland, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and the Irish Republic from 1905 to 2012 – all covered for the first time in a single publication (with more than 90 colour and 3000 mono illustrations). Unfortunately now sold out, but second-hand copies may be available.
'Slogan Postmarks, 2000 to 2012' by Martin Grier was published by the BPS in February 2014. This volume is printed in the same format as the four earlier books in the series, written and published by Parsons, Peachey & Pearson. It includes a complete listing of all slogans recorded up to the end of 2012, including those used in iLSM (Intelligent Letter Sorting Machine) trials and slogans used in the Channel Islands and Isle of Man. It also lists many additions and amendments to the earlier volumes. Available from the author; or for further details and prices, please download the order form here. Five supplements to "Slogan Postmarks 2000 to 2012" are available to download free as .pdf files by clicking on the following links - "Slogan Postmarks of the UK 2013-2014" , "Slogan Postmarks of the UK 2015." "Slogan Postmarks of the UK 2016", "Slogan Postmarks of the UK 2017" and "Slogan Postmarks of the UK 2018.
The earlier slogan postmark books are
now available in digital form - see the Digital Publications page.
Universal SCM Dies
BPS member Paul Carter is undertaking the mammoth task of listing all known Universal-pattern dies used in UK Stamp Cancelling Machines and their dates of use. Having completed his initial listing of the 'black' dies used with slogans or wavy lines for cancelling stamps, he is now listing the 'red' dies - mostly inscribed 'Great Britain' - used with 'Paid' indicators on mail prepaid in cash. His findings to date for all London offices and for Wales, Scotland, N Ireland, Isle of Man and thee Channel Islands are contained in Supplement 25, published with the October 2019 BPS Journal. Members and other collectors are encouraged to download the .pdf file here, and add their knowledge to Paul's.
Page updated 5 November 2019