GB Local Stamps From Lundy Island
Lundy is the biggest island in the Bristol Channel and has also given its name to a British sea area used during the Shipping weather forecasts.
The story of Lundy's local stamp issues began due to a declining population on the island and resulting lack of interest in the GPO deciding to terminate its contractual presence on the island in 1927. Mr Martin C. Harman, who owned Lundy at the time, had to arrange the mail transportation to and from the island without charge until, on November 1st 1929, he decided to issue private postage stamps to cover his expenses. The denomination chosen for the Lundy stamps was 'Puffins', a popular species of bird that thrives on Lundy. The printing and supply of 'Puffin stamps' continues to the present day.
In use the Lundy stamps are normally stuck to the bottom left hand corner of the envelope to avoid processing problems hindering the mainland postal system during onward transmission.
The Lundy 'Puffin Stamps' are a type of stamp known to philatelists as a 'local carriage label' - often shortened to simply 'local'. Since 1929 many different sets of stamps have been produced by Lundy, including air mail stamps, and they've featured a wide variety of topics and events. Many of the Lundy Island stamps and covers are now very highly sought-after by stamp collectors meaning the value of the early issues has risen quite dramatically over time.
The Lundy Island stamps still cover the carriage of postal items from Lundy to the Royal Mail on the mainland today and the islands many visitors ensure that demand doesn't wane and new collectors are being established regularly. The history and popularity of the stamps gives rise to the claim that Lundy Island issues Britain's best collected local stamps.
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