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British Stamps

Commemoratives of 1961-1963

Commemorative British stamps were issued for ten different events between 1961 and 1963. 

All of the commemorative British stamps of Queen Elizabeth II, issued between 1961 and 1963, have the following technical attributes in common.

  • Printing Process:  Photogravure.
  • Portrait:  Wilding left-three-quarter-facing profile.
  • Perforation:  Perforated 14 1/2 x 14 or 14 x 14 1/2.
  • Watermark:  WMK 322 -- St. Edward's Crown Multiple.

The commemorative stamps printed between 1962 and 1963 come both on regular paper and on paper with vertical phosphor bars.  These phosphor coated commemorative stamps were issued for testing on automated mail sorting machinery, as were the definitive postage stamps of this time. 

During this time period, the phosphor coated commemorative stamps were printed in much smaller quantities than those printed on regular paper.  As a result, some of these commemorative British stamps with phosphor bars on them have gotten VERY expensive.  Refer to the Scott or Stanley Gibbons catalogs for details.

The three commemorative stamps shown above (Sc. #379-381) were issued on August 28, 1961 for the 100th Anniversary of the Post Office Savings Bank.

Great Britain, in 1861, became the first nation to offer a postal savings system.  Both Sir Rowland Hill and Prime Minister William Gladstone enthusiastically supported the idea, as a means to pay down the public debt and as a venue to allow less fortunate people to save money. 

At the time, banks were located mainly in the large cities, and they catered primarily to wealthy clients.  Rural people and the poor had no choice but to keep their extra money either on their persons or at home, which made them easy targets for criminals. 

By the 1920's, there were 12 million savings accounts, with one in every four Britons having an account through the Postal Savings System.  These services have evolved during the years, but even to this day, the Postal Savings System still exists.

The three EUROPA stamps
shown above (Sc. #382-384) were issued on September 18, 1961 to commemorate the 2nd Anniversary of the Establishment of the Conference of European Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT).

The two special event stamps shown above (Sc. #385-386) were issued on September 25, 1961 to celebrate the Seventh Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference.

The three special event stamps shown above (Sc. #387-389, #387p-389p) were issued on November 14, 1962 to publicize National Productivity Year.

National Productivity Year was promoted by Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh.  Its goal was success in maintaining Great Britain's position as a leader in international trade, with the end result of improving  economic prosperity within the country.

These two special event stamps shown above (Sc. #390-391, #390p-391p) were issued on March 21, 1963 to promote the United Nations Freedom From Hunger Campaign.

This 6 P. denomination commemorative stamp shown above (Sc. #392, #392p) was issued on May 7, 1963 to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Paris Postal Conference.

The Paris Postal Conference, in 1863, was convened at the suggestion of the U.S. Postmaster General.  It was attended by 15 European and North American postal administrations, with the purpose of simplifying procedures for the handling of international mails.  The principles established at this conference would eventually lead to the creation of the Universal Postal Union (UPU).

The two special event stamps shown above (Sc. #393-394, #393p-394p) were issued on May 16, 1963 to publicize National Nature Week, May 18-25, 1963, and the importance of Wildlife Conservation.

The 3 P. denomination features buttercups, daisies, and a bee.

The 4 1/2 P. denomination features a badger, a fawn, a woodpecker, a lark, a titmouse, a butterfly, a mouse, and wild plants.

These three special event stamps shown above (Sc. #395-397, #395p-397p) were issued on May 31, 1963 for the 9th International Life-Boat Conference, held in Edinburgh, June 3-5, 1963.

The three designs feature a helicopter lifting a man from a lifeboat, a 19th Century lifeboat under sail, and a lifeboat crew.

The three special event British stamps shown above (Sc. #398-400, 398p-400p) were issued on August 15, 1963 to publicize the Red Cross Centenary Congress to be held in Geneva, Switzerland on September 2, 1963.

The 1 S. 6 P. denomination stamp shown above (Sc. #401, #401p) was issued on December 3, 1963 to celebrate the Opening of the Commonwealth Pacific (telephone) Cable Service (COMPAC).

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Great Britain Postage Stamps

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British Stamps - Commemoratives of 1961-1963