Volume 3, Number 2

Irish Philatelic Newsletter

Volume 3, Number 2                                                                                                                                       February, 2001

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
The Rare Coil
Tony Cassidy

Tony Cassidy (ÉPA / IPC /FAI) would greatly appreciate any information on used examples of the rare Irish Coil – SG74b/Scott 68b 2d perf 15 x imperf Coil – ideally by photocopy – for a major article that he is assisting Richard Luettiken of  the German society FAI to compile.  Tony can be reached on AVCASS@aol.com or by postal mail at 38 Trafalgar Avenue, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, MK3 7UP, England.
Kevin Drury

Maurice Barrett’s cachet from Haulbowline (in the January 2001 issue) is reminiscent of the commercial cachets applied to cancel 2p or 2x1p stamps which were applied to receipts up to the 1960’s as Maurice suggests. Lots of major firms used these to prevent reuse and also to promote their own corporate identity. It was common practice to use postage stamps in lieu of Revenue stamps or indeed instead of social insurance or wet-time stamps. I don’t think there was any legal instrument for less than 6d at the time, which if correct would go to explain why it was necessary to apply postage stamps. I have a difficulty with the date though. It appears to me to be 26/6/24?
Re: Photos of Post Offices

Tony Cassidy

Michael Rupp is indeed the man to communicate with about photographs of post offices, with his wonderful CDs.
I, myself, have been photographing County Clare post offices for nearly twenty years.  I have also photographed milestones, which in Ireland were associated with the postal system and the surveying of distances from Dublin for calculating postal rates, prior to 1840.

Re: The “Downpatrick PTO Sign”
The Editor

My illustration of the Downpatrick TPO sign was captioned with a typographical error, i.e. PTO instead of TPO.  This was brought to my attention by two readers.

Brian Warren

Great photos  –  one gremlin  –  The “Downpatrick PTO Sign”

This is a letter box sign from the side of a TPO railway carriage. Nothing to do with Downpatrick unless its in some museum there – surely not – its in Northern Ireland!

Tony Cassidy

The “Downpatrick PTO sign” is a mystery in various ways: First your caption should read “TPO (Travelling Post Office) sign” not “PTO sign”.  This is a plate of the type that was mounted on the side of the Irish Republic TPO rail carriages adjacent to the late fee posting slot – note the words “(LETTERS POSTED HERE MUST / BEAR AN EXTRA PENNY STAMP).  I have seen them on the Dublin – Cork and Dublin – Galway TPOs, and I have
photographed a number of them.  They were individually sign-written, so each is slightly different.  Before the TPO service ceased, you could go onto the rail platform where the TPOs were left standing for the loading of the mail and post your letters (with the extra fee), after the time of the (general) last posting.  Downpatrick is in Co. Down, Northern Ireland, so how did this Irish Republic sign get there?

The Editor

The photo of the sign was taken during a visit in 1999 by Dave Brennan, Joe Foley and Barney Clancy to a retired mail train being prepared for use as a museum display.

Finding The Closed Offices
Stan Challis

There has been some correspondence of late with regard to photographing Post Offices � now that so many of the smaller offices are going, we must try and get a record before it is too late!  I started somewhat half-heartedly photographing offices in the mid 1980s. I only wish I had taken it more seriously at the time and started twenty years earlier.

Apart from isolated instances and postcards from the turn of the century onwards, I don’t think much was done in the way of photographing Ireland’s Post Offices until the late Dr Brian de Burca visited Cavan and Leitrim in the late 1960s.  A handful of his photos have come my way, the colour now some way past its prime in these 30 year old gems. For the rest of the Ireland I believe no one took any area seriously until the 1980s.

Fortunately, the majority of the rural offices are still there and we should be able to pick them up at our leisure, but each year some twenty or more rural offices are no more. Sometimes an office will move in a village and it is nice to find on a  return visit that one has examples of both the old and the new. 

Much harder to keep track of are the town sub offices.  Dublin, Cork and Belfast spring immediately to mind, but there is no doubt, a mammoth job waits to be done in tracking the history and development of the sub offices of such towns as Limerick and Waterford. Any volunteers?

There is also fun to had searching out the closed rural offices. Sometimes they are an easy spot; others have been redeveloped, pulled down and gone for ever, never (perhaps) photographed.  To me this is why the archive that Michael appears to have volunteered to create will be so valuable. Not only will the archive add to the interest of present day postal historians but as the years roll by and the archive grows , it ought to be of considerable value to local historians and county archivists.

To find closed offices, you will first of all need to know they existed in the first place (Frank and Stange�s bible will help you here), then a good map and a little patience. The best clue is the site of the village telephone box, usually erected immediately outside the village post office. Next is the wayside post box usually erected as close as possible to site of the office. Above all one needs to talk to local people. It is rare not to able to find at least one person in a locality who would be able to recall the location of the office closed perhaps 50 years ago, though few folk today can go back to the 1920s or 30s.  Sometimes one gets strange looks; other folk are fascinated and it is almost impossible to get away.  Sometimes you will be given knowledge that you could not possibly use; at other times the information is freely given but the dates are at best indicative. All good fun � with more and more interest being taken in local history, it is very rare to find an unwillingness to help.

You will find below snaps of several rural offices that have either moved or are no longer extant. I hope they persuade your readers to go hunting for more. 

Curra Loughrea, closed 1928  taken 1991                  Currandrum, Galway, taken June, 1996, three months 
(still in the same family)                                               after closure – in the picture � Mr. Coen, former postmaster

Dangan, Co Galway, opened 1819                             Castlecor, Co Cork, the office was here until c1980
(date over arch is 1829), closed 1864


Good hunting – and don’t be frightened to post 
your scans in the newsletter!

Castlecor, the office was here from c1980 to March 1995

IMP Notes 

IMP Update
Maurice Barrett

Courtesy of John Lennon and Michael McNamara I can correct the information given in my IMP reports of 
10 January 2001. Just for the record, there was one example of the IMP 21 (“Budget Travel…..”) at the  DMC on   machine 1 for 27 December 2000 in a bundle of covers inspected by Michael McNamara. This means that
the DMC did, in fact, operate on that date.

New IMP slogan – IMP 23
Maurice Barrett

A new IMP slogan is now used at both the DMC and the PMC. I have numbered this IMP as IMP 23.   It is worded: prizebuy.com  / home appliances / online / great value, choice and easy shipping.  The company’s logo forms part of the slogan.  Again, the lettering is too small to be easily readable on most impressions seen by me. The earliest dates seen by me are: DMC 1 – 1 February 2001; DMC 2 – 2 February 2001; PMC 1 – 2 February 2001; PMC 2 – not yet seen. It is assumed that it was used on all machines from 1 February 2001.

IMP 22 (“Eagle Star…..”) was in used up to and including 31 January 2001.

Recent Show Awards 
Michael Connolly 

Stephen Suffet, “Ireland, Time of Trouble, 1916-1923”,Gold medal at STEPEX in October.

Raymond Murphy, “Irish Railway Stamps”, Silver medal and AAPE Award of Honor at Sarasota

Barney Clancy, “Ireland Postal Stationery 1922-1942”, Gold medal and UPSS Marcus White Award at Sarasota


Traditional Philately
  “Irish Postal Stationery 1912-1942”, Barney Clancy, Gold
  “Irish Coils: 1922-1970”, Robert Benninghoff, Gold, I.S.S.P. Trophy and David Feldman Trophy (Best of Show)
  “Railway Letter Stamps of Ireland”, David Brennan, Gold and E.P.A. Medal
  “Ireland – The overprinted stamps of Great Britain 1922-1937”, James Maher, Vermeil
  “The Gerl Definitives – The unwatermarked issues”, Brian Warren, Vermeil

Open Class
 “Brown Bros. Nurseries”, Charles Verge, Third, Open Class 
 “Gerl Definitive Coils”, Robert Benninghoff, Certificate
 “A Philatelic Tour of Dublin”, “Dublinia”, Certificate

Postal History
  “The Postman Knocks (Postage Dues in Ireland)”, Stan Challis, Vermeil
  “Postal History of Cork”, Finbar O�Mahony, Vermeil
  “Westmeath”, Anthony Hughes, Vermeil

Philatelic Literature
  “Republic of Ireland Letter Box Listing”, Brian Warren & Otto Jung, Vermeil
  “Irish Heritage and Treasures”, Brian Warren & Otto Jung, Silver

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