Volume 1, Number 7

Irish Philatelic Newsletter

Volume 1, Number 7                                                                                                                               July l, 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

New Booklets
Maurice Barrett

An Post’s “BusinessPost” magazine for Summer 1999 (received today, 17 May, 1999) refers to paying commissions to retailers for the sale of stamps. It notes that “stamps will initially be available for sale in two different
types of booklet: a £1 booklet and a £3 booklet. special booklets of 32p and 45p stamps will be added to the range shortly……the booklets containing the 32 and 45p stamps will be particularly suitable for retailers in tourist areas.”

No information on the make up of the booklets or the dates of issue are given. The note also says that “in addition to purchasing supplies in post offices, retailers can place orders by phone to a call centre with stamps despatched for delivery next working day”. Will this be by registered mail?  Will this result in a new stationery item in the form of registered covers?



Railway Sub Offices
Stan Challis

The expert on the subject is Tony Goodbody in the UK who maintains the master list of such postmarks. Part one of an updated Irish listing appeared in Irish Philately in the September 1998 issue, with part two in the December edition. Tony’s master list also includes England, Scotland and Wales.

One addition to Tony’s list is attached – Drinagh/ Dunmanway.R.S.O  (Co Cork) of which I have found two examples dated 8 Nov. 1922 and 18 Sep. 1925. 

For those not familiar with the markings, the potted history is, very broadly, thus –

The British Post Office decided about 1867 to create a new type of sub office known as the Railway Sub Office, so called because these offices were served directly by the railway rather than receiving and sending their mail
via their head offices.

Amongst the first to be so denominated were Dunleer in Co Louth and Leap in Co Cork, these being so shown in the 1868 PO list.  The observant reader should at this point express surprise in that Leap was neither then nor ever
subsequently situate on any railway line. In fact Leap would have received mail direct from Skibbereen station (avoiding Skibbereen Head Office) and despatched direct to the railway and thus acquired the RSO title.

Gradually more and more smaller offices were upgraded to RSO status so that by 1904 some 450 offices served as RSOs. There were 32 in Co Galway alone.  Many of the RSOs had one or more rural sub offices dependent on them for their mail deliveries.

A decision was taken in 1905 to abolish the RSO designation and all RSOs became ordinary sub offices (of which there were already 100 or more in Ireland). Subsequently the status of sub office (SO) was abolished in c1909
and became Post Towns with independent addresses – i.e.: Leap RSO, Co Cork, was between 1905 and 1909 Leap SO, Co Cork, then becoming Leap, Co Cork. The Head office was Skibbereen throughout, but it was only in the 1940’s that the address became Leap, Skibbereen, Co Cork.  Of the 500 or so SOs in 1909
that became independent post towns, probably less than 50 have that status today (whether in Northern Ireland or the Republic).

The letters RSO began to appear in postmarks from the 1870’s – by way of example Leap is known from 1881 in several different postmarks. By no means did all designated RSOs have postmarks inscribed with the letters RSO
(perhaps 50% did) but a large number of the rural offices receiving their mail from RSOs did receive such postmarks. A large majority of these received their postmarks in 1904 when rubber ‘climax’ datestamps were issued to all offices that did not previously have postmarks. As these small rural post offices did not, for the most part, cancel mail at this time, and generally did not do so until about 1908 (the story of where cancelled what
is best left to another day), the rubber date stamps incorporating the letters RSO are rarely seen used; it seems the lifespan of a typical rubber datestamp was little more than 5 years at the time. However their existence is known from the proof books at London archives and have been extensively written about by James Mackay.

Although no new postmarks inscribed RSO were supplied after 1905 it took many years for them to be replaced – viz. Drinagh as noted at the outset of this article. I have examples of Askeaton RSO Co Limerick from the 1930’s,
but the strangest case is that of Chapelizod Co Dublin where the only known examples are dated between 1951 and 1954, although the postmark must originally have been issued some 50 years earlier.

In summation that is probably as much as one needs to know about RSOs!

Tony Goodbody always welcomes information regarding newly found RSO markings. I will happily co-ordinate if this helps.

Best wishes

Stan Challis

Irish Exhibits at ÉPA AGM
Michael Connolly

The ÉPA Annual General Meeting will be held this year during the Philadelphia National Stamp Exhibition, October 1 – 3, 1999.  It is hoped that members of the Irish collecting fraternity will exhibit at the show.  So far there is a “terrible poor” showing. 

The deadline for receipt of completed entry forms with payment is August 17th, 1999 or until frames are filled.  Competitive exhibits must have a minimum of two and maximum of ten frames.  A fee of $10.00 per frame will be charged. Junior exhibitors (birthdate 10/1/91 or later) may enter single frame exhibits and will be charged $2.00 per frame. Classification E is for Irish exhibits, O for open competition and P for postal history. 

ÉPA Year 2000 Anniversary
Peter Bugg

It is hard to believe but we are on the final lap to our 50th anniversary celebration. By the time you read this we will be at 9 months and counting. There is a lot of work to be done during these final months to make sure that we will have a successful celebration. 

I met with all the departments of the North East Federation at their �99 show in May and made all the final arrangements for 2000. I also met with the hotel management and confirmed our room bookings. While I am on the subject of the hotel I have a correction to make. I inadvertently gave the wrong phone number in the last issue of the Revealer. The number should be 978-263-8701. I gave a list of dealers to Mike Meade and he will be contacting them about participating. I hope to have a final list in the next issue of the Revealer. I received the exhibit prospectus for the show from Guy Dillaway and mailed out 31 copies the following week. We are still aiming at 150 frames for the show so if you did not receive a prospectus from me please accept my apologies and drop me a line and I will mail one for you. It is difficult to know all our exhibiting members so please do not feel overlooked. There is a limit of 2 exhibits per person so choose your best and send in the forms as soon as possible.

Now for a few requests. The first thing we need are lots of used Irish stamps. We have a wonderful couple who run the children’s room at the show every year and they are going to have their school clubs put together 8 page Irish exhibits for the show. Send your material to me and I will hand deliver them to Gilbert at our next meeting. Depending on the amount of donations we get we may be able to put little packets together to give to kids at our booth. 

The next item is a big one. We want a cachet for the show and also a special cancel to be used for the three days. I am sure we have many talented designers in our group so put your pencil to paper and create what will be part of ÉPA history. We will give a special award to the winner of the contest. This will need to be completed by the end of the summer so that we can get covers printed and the cancel made up. If you have any questions about this or any other topic concerning the show please get in touch with me.

One more challenge for now. We will have at least two computers at our booth. One will be hooked up to the Internet so we can communicate with members all over the world during the three days of the show. We would like to have a Powerpoint presentation on Irish Philately running on the other. I know we have some computer experts out there so if you could take up this challenge we would appreciate it. needless to say this could be a joint venture, I will put any volunteers in touch with each other.

That is a lot to work on for now so get your ÉPA hats on and become directly involved with our celebration. By the way if there is anything that you would like to add to the celebration let me know so we can discuss it. I hope to hear from many of you and look forward to seeing you in 2000.

Peter Bugg

Express Mail
Stan Challis

Here is something you don’t see very often!

Attached is a very ordinary looking cover posted 8 March 1939 from College Green in central Dublin to a central London address – Covent Garden was the old central fruit and vegetable market just a few hundred yards from
Trafalgar Square.

The stamps are the 2d US Constitution x4 (the stamp, very common although an attractive colour, had been issued just a week earlier) and a very ordinary 1/2d definitive.

At first sight the only redeeming feature for the cover was that it had been sent express. At that time postage was 2d and the express fee was 6d – so why did it need an extra 1/2d. The answer is given away by the position of the stamp. The halfpenny represented a late fee. Thus the item was in effect a ‘double express’  offering the quickest possible transit time between the two capitals. Although backstamped at London WC (the WC head office was
about 800 yards north of Covent Garden) for 9 March, the arrival datestamp is not timed.

This is the first item I have seen sent express with an added 1/2d for late fee.

Best wishes 
Stan Challis

More on the Integrated Mails Processor – IMP
Maurice Barrett

The European elections took place in Ireland on 11 June 1999. The “EURVOTE…..” slogan was last used on 10 June 1999 and the “RETURN ADDRESS…..” slogan is used on both machines 1 and 2 on and from 11 June
1999. The “RETURN ADDRESS…..” slogan was frequently used on machine 1 over the past few weeks with the “EURVOTE…..” slogan in use on machine 2 and, sometimes, on machine 1.

Divisionalisation of An Post

Central  to  the  business  reorganisation  of An Post’s operations was the creation of seven area offices for Letter Post and seven for Post Offices, each with its own area manager. The areas are as follows:

Covering  all  post  offices  under these Head Post Offices: 
   Bandon, Bantry, Cork, Killarney, Mallow, Skibbereen, Tralee 
   Dublin, Blackrock and Dun Laoghaire 
   Athlone, Cavan, Drogheda, Dundalk, Kells, Longford, Monaghan, Mullingar, Navan 
   Ballina, Ballinasloe, Castlebar, Claremorris, Galway, Tuam, Westport 
   Clonmel, Ennis, Kilmallock, Limerick, Nenagh, Thurles, Tipperary, Waterford 
   Birr, Bray, Carlow, Enniscorthy, Gorey, Kilkenny, Naas, Portlaoise, Tullamore, Wexford, Wicklow 
   Carrick-on-Shannon, Castlerea, Donegal, Letterkenny, Lifford, Roscommon, Sligo 

Information gathered from “PostNews” the Journal of An Post, June 1999, issue 77.


—————————Auction Action———————-

FAI Auction 66
Klaus Stange

The latest FAI auction is underway with 212 lots. Bidding closes on 1 August, 1999.

The auction list is now available on the Internet at  http://members.aol.com/irlandphil/fai.htm

Whyte’s Auction of Stamps & Postal History
Ian Whyte

The latest Whyte’s auction is underway with 987 lots. The auction will take place in Dublin on 1 August, 1999.

The catalogue for this sale is available online at http://www.whytes.ie

Editorial statement:

In today’s cyber-age, its only fitting that we interact in cyberspace. I can’t see any reason why the members of our societies should not join in. More and more of our members are now accessing e-mail and the internet.

To subscribe to the Newsletter, send a request by e-mail to webmaster.  To remove yourself from receiving the Newsletter, send your request to the same e-mail address. 

Viewing of the newsletter will be available online from the ÉPA web page (one of these days). 

Past issues will be archived and made available for online retrieval, again from the ÉPA web page. E-mail requests for back issues are also accepted.

Members are encouraged to contribute articles or bits of news to the newsletter.  I believe that learned treatises belong in our society journals, where they can be shared with all members. I don’t feel that a newsletter should ever attempt to be a replacement for our journals.

“Newsy” bits would certainly interest me personally and would seem to be ideal for a newsletter such as this.

Requests for information and help with puzzling items can be submitted and, hopefully, some reader will have an answer.

Brief articles or informational pieces would also be welcome.

Submitting material can be done in a simple-to-use but high-tech way. Accessing the ÉPA web page, the member will click on a link, which will take them to an Article Entry Form.  There they will submit articles to the newsletter, identifying themselves and inserting the text they want included.

If you only have e-mail access but no Web access, you can send e-mail to webmaster.

For those in the U.S.A., libraries providing access and free e-mail sites are proliferating.  Members could access the Web even without home or office access to cyberspace.

Input from members can even come via our beloved snail-mail.

Submitters should understand that any material published in the newsletter would, automatically, become available for publication in our journals.