World Stamps

World’s oldest local post Lundy island issued new set of stamps May 13

Jun 24, 2023, 9 AM
On May 13, the island of Lundy in the Bristol Channel issued a new set of definitive stamps. The stamp inscribed ROW (for rest of the world) pictures two puffins staring intently at the channel.

By Christer Brunström

On May 13, the island of Lundy issued a new set of definitive stamps that includes three nondenominated stamps and 20-puffin, 75-puffin, 100-puffin and 300-puffin stamps.

The puffin is the island’s unique coinage, and it is on par with the British penny.

The nondenominated stamps are inscribed 1st, 2nd and ROW, respectively. ROW is an abbreviation of “rest of the world.”

The Lundy ROW stamp, shown nearby, pictures two puffins, one standing and one lying down. Both birds gaze intently at the Bristol Channel before them.

The design, known as Puffins on Coast, is based on a watercolor painting by John Dyke (1923-2003). It was first used on Lundy’s 1991 definitive stamp set.

The new stamps were produced in sheets of 25 by Cartor in France. Lars Liwendahl helped design the stamps.

The stamps with values in puffins each had printings of 15,000 stamps, and the nondenominated stamps were printed in a quantity of 35,000 each. Presentation packs and first-day covers were also produced and made available to collectors.

Lundy is located in the Bristol Channel between North Devon in England and the south coast of Wales. It is a tiny speck of land but somewhat of a giant in the world of local postal services.

It all started in 1929 when the owner decided to charge a small fee for the carriage of postcards and letters between the island and the mainland. The previous suboffice on the island had been closed, which necessitated the local post.

More than 90 years later, the Lundy Postal Service is still in operation, and some 400 different stamps have been issued thus far.

Collecting Lundy stamps and postal history is quite popular, and there is a Lundy Collectors Club based in the United Kingdom but with a worldwide membership.

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