Volume 1, Number 11

Irish Philatelic Newsletter

Volume 1, Number 11                                                                                                                      November, 1999

A periodic publication for the members of the Éire Philatelic Association, the Irish Airmail Society, the Irish Philatelic Circle and the Forschungs-und Arbeitsgemeinschaft Irland e.V. The newsletter will be e-mailed to all interested members.

Published and edited by Michael Connolly

Death Notice
Dave Brennan

I just received a call from Peter Bugg that Bob Jones passed away.  Bob had been secretary of the ÉPA for many years and was instrumental in starting ÉPA chapters in the northeast.  I spoke with Bob last year and he was looking forward to joining us at our 50th anniversary in Boxborough next May.

I will send a card from the membership, but please, if you knew him his widow would appreciate hearing from you.  He still resided at 8 Beach St., Brockton, MA 02402.  Peter Bugg will attend the services in Brockton.

Please keep him in your prayers.

Best regards,

Machine Slogan Dies
Maurice Barrett

In its “Guide to Letter Post Services” (7/99 edition – taking account of postal rate changes effective 5 July 1999), at page 57, dealing with Stamp Cancelling Machine Slogan Dies, it is noted that this service is currently under review and will be relaunched in the Autumn of 1999. So we may see new slogans coming into use. It would appear that the service can be offered generally, Dublin only, provincial only or any combination of these.


FAI Website
Klaus Stange

Did you see? The first advertisements on Irish Philately are on the Net:   FAI’s guestbook!  Have a look at   the FAI Homepage   Don’t miss looking at it!


Recent Show Awards
Michael Connolly

Karl Winkelmann, “Postal Isolation of Ireland: British Censorship of Irish Mail – 1939-1945”, Gold medal, American Philatelic Society Research medal, at Indypex 99, September, 1999

Karl Winkelmann, “The Dublin Censor Office: Irish Censorship During World War II”, Gold Medal, at 
Indypex 99, September, 1999

Myron G. Hill III, “Irish S.P.I. Censor Labels”, Silver-Bronze medal, one-frame exhibit, at 
Indypex 99, September, 1999

David J. Brennan, “Railway Letter Stamps of Ireland”, ÉPA Certificate, at Balpex 99, Baltimore Philatelic Society, September, 1999

Joseph E. Foley, “Overprinted High-Value Stamps of Ireland”, Court of Honor Exhibit, Gold medal, at Philadelphia National Stamp Exhibition, October, 1999

Patricia Stillwell Walker, “Ireland: Postal History: 1661 through 1890s”, Court of Honor  Exhibit, Gold medal, at Philadelphia National Stamp Exhibition, October, 1999

Robert Benninghoff, “Irish Coil Stamps 1922 to 1977”, Gold medal, ÉPA First place trophy, at Philadelphia National Stamp Exhibition, October, 1999

Paul E. Wittreich, “Censorship on Irish Mail in World War II”, Gold medal, ÉPA Second place trophy, at Philadelphia National Stamp Exhibition, October, 1999

David J. Brennan, “Irish Airmails – 50 Years of First Flights 1924-1974”, Silver medal, ÉPA Third place trophy, at Philadelphia National Stamp Exhibition, October, 1999

Micheal O’Conghaile, “ABCs of Irish Collecting”, Silver medal, AAPE Creativity medal, at Philadelphia National Stamp Exhibition, October, 1999

Stan Challis

I suspect that most of us are familiar with Ireland’s skeleton postmarks. I thought I was until this evening!

A quick summary may be of help to some readers.

Temporary ‘skeleton’ postmarks, made up from individual letters to order when a postmark is needed in a hurry have been with us since the 1840’s.  Ireland’s skeletons fall into 4 main groups

Group SK1 
(the numbers are mine)

Used 1840’s to about 1880.  These are big  with widely spaced letters. 
See example from Ramelton.


Group SK2Cabhan

Double ring skeletons used from about 1880 to 1950.  Initially they were much smaller c25mm.  Prior to about 1920 (but some later) most have a number at the top to identify the datestamp.  Later they got larger still to 38mm (viz Cabhan)Biorra
 and the inner and outer rim appear to be joined – filled with ‘the gunge of time’ I suspect.  Used in English and after 1922 (but not always) in Irish – not many seen after early 1930’s.

Group SK3Ballysodare

Single ring. From 1890’s (rare at this time)  Commoner from about 1910.  Some of the early ones had numbers or letters – see Ballysodare.  This one dates from, it seems, 1894 – 29mm. Most were larger – about 33mm (I have up Duncarvanto 37mm).

The letters got much more intense and the rims thicker as they wore and this type is common in the 1930’s – the standard issue of the day.  This type in use until approximately late 1940’s In English and Irish – English is surprisingly common in late 1920’s

Group SK4Kildysart

Smaller from about 1938,MaghNuad.jpg apparently a universal size of 30 to 31mm.  Still in use; just occasionally one turns up in English.  

So far, so good. This ignores the rubber skeletons but broadly breaks down Ireland’s steel skeleton postmarks. From memory James Howley did some lists in the 1970’s/80’s in Irish Philately but I suspect they are far from complete.

Tonight,LittleIsland I found a postmark from Little Island, Cork (see attachment Litislnd.jpg).  It is as perfect a strike as one could wish to find, complete and nice and crisp.  It is just under 28mm – smaller than any other skeleton of its time, but bigger than any steel datestamp in general use at this time, I think – certainly the letters are larger.

Is it a skeleton? Is it a normal steel datestamp?

I believe it is in fact a skeleton because –

There is much indentation on the card on which it is struck.  I have impressions from a smaller 24mm steel datestamp used at this office from December 1907 (the same datestamp being in use until the 1940’s).  This would imply a short life for the 1906 postmark.

Please have a look at any postmarks you have from this office and tell me what you think?

Best wishes
Stan Challis

Stamps For Kids
Dave Brennan

The Edmund Rice Primary School has one of the stamp clubs the ÉPA supports in Ireland.  They usually send a group of members to STAMPA and are always looking for stamps and supplies for the children.  Unfortunately, two other persons and myself are their sole benefactors.  If you can help, send material directly to them or you can send the material to me and I’ll pass it on to them.

From: “Liam O’Neachtain” <edrice@eircom.net>
Organization: Edmund Rice Primary School

Greetings from Tramore.  This is to announce a re-vamped school web site.  You might drop in and have a look.
You can view site at http://homepage.eircom.net/~edrice

Liam O’Neachtain

Fermanagh Collector
Michael Connolly

I received the following e-mail and thought I would pass it on.

From Seamas Mac Annaidh, Enniskillen
Date: Sun, 3 Oct. 1999 13:22:24 +0100
From: “Joy Beatty” <joy@beattyj.freeserve.co.uk>

I have enjoyed looking through your pages {ed. referring to ÉPA web site}.  I am a collector of Irish postal
history – especially Co. Fermanagh – and my main interest in that quarter is in old letters with contents.  I tie this in to my interest in local history.  Because my main interest is in the correspondence rather than the postmark or the stamp, the condition is not important.  I do buy stuff through Ian Whyte’s auctions in Dublin and at various fairs and exhibitions but I find the stuff very hard to get.  Have you any ideas or suggestions?

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