Greetings – The Welcoming Face of Guernsey

As a holiday island, Guernsey has been welcoming visitors for hundreds of years. During that time, holidaymakers have sent literally millions of postcards to the UK and further afield. Now for the first time we have a set of stamps designed specifically to convey that warm welcome: greeting stamps.

The basic appeal of Guernsey has remained constant: this peaceful, unspolit environment with over twenty different beaches to choose from and quiet lanes with the famous Guernsey cows grazing in the fields.

The trick with such a bounteous place is to leave it alone as much as possible while keeping abreast of the time. It is a balance that Guernsey has been careful to maintain. While fish still swim in clear, clean waters and seagull enjoys the freedom of blue skies and fresh air, man has been provided with plenty of things to do.

This is perfect territory for the traditional pursuits of swimming and walking, and the modern sportsman is also well provided for.. There is surfing, windsurfing and scuba diving, and the local clubs play host to visiting teams in everything from athletics to hockey and netball.

Guernsey is well aware of the increasing sophistication of its visitors as regards wining and dining. The island has a variety of first class restaurants catering for all tastes, with particular emphasis, naturally, on locally-caught seafood.

All these attractions contribute to Guernsey’s popularity, but the key to a happy holiday is always the atmosphere – and everyone is made to feel at home here.

The welcoming faces on the stamps are artfully composed: mouths fashioned in anchors and caterpillars or drawn in the sand; noses of whelk shells, mushrooms and champagne corks; eyes in the form of tomatoes, butterflies and mussels. The designer, Robin Ollington, has made these into a set that exudes good humour and happy time.

There are eight stamps in the set, with a selection of appropriate greetings around the edges of the souvenir sheet. Also available are booklets and booklet panes, and stamp cards.

Source: Guernsey Post Office Official Presentation Pack

Stamps celebrating 100 Years of Cinema in Guernsey

100 Years of Cinema in Guernsey:

The first films in the world were shown in 1896. Guernsey’s first screening was on 31st August that year at St Julian’s Theatre, (later the Gaumont). Messers. Banks and Greaves presented their Vivaceographs or Animated Photographs, five films lasting only a few minutes each.

In the heyday of the cinema, from the 1930s to the 1950s there were half a dozen operating in Guernsey at the same time. The island was on a west-country circuit and received films soon after their release.

These stamps celebrate one of the cinema’s most enduringly popular genres, the detective film, with five completely different characters. in chronological order we start with Warner Oland’s portrayal of Charlie Chan, the enigmatic Chinese Policeman based in Hawaii with a quaint command of English and a nice line in profound Oriental sayings.

With several actors having played Sherlock Holmes, the most cerebral of sleuths, we have chosen Basil Rathbone’s interpretation, and similarly with Miss Marple, who solved her cases through the very British qualities of persistence and shrewdness, we go for Margaret Rutherford.

Philip Marlowe is perhaps the most imitated of all detectives, brought to life by Humphrey Bogart’s dry,world-weary delivery. And finally there is Inspector Clouseau, Peter Sellers’ masterpiece, who somehow always manages to bundle his way to the truth.

The people of Guernsey packed the cinemas to watch all of there characters and it is heartening to see that, after a spell in the doldrums, the industry is thriving once more, with upwards of half a dozen films showing in the island every week.


The stamps are available to buy here:


Source: Guernsey Post office Official Presentation Pack

Starting your collection – What is a stamp?

Starting your collection – What is a stamp?

Sounds a simple question – but how would you describe a stamp, and how would you go about teaching someone or learning yourself how to start stamp collecting.

A postage stamp is by definition:

noun: postage stamp; plural noun: postage stamps

  1. a small adhesive piece of paper of specified value issued by a national Post Office to be affixed to a letter or parcel to indicate the amount of postage paid.

But, a stamp to a collector is so much more than just a bit of sticky paper, and they come in all shapes, sizes and designs

Postage stamp Wiki

This example from Wikipedia shows nicely the four main components of a stamp, which are on nearly every stamp.

1: The Image or design 2: Perforations 3: The Denomination 4: Country Name

There are of course exceptions to this rule. A few very early stamps were produced Imperf, meaning that the don’t have perforations around the edge of a stamp as show in the example above. This should not be confused with stamps that have been trimmed! Today there are still a few countries which do produce imperf stamps.

The history of the postal system can be traced back to London in 1680′s but the first postage stamp, The Penny Black, was available for purchase 1 May 1840, quickly followed by the Two Pence Blue. Both these Great Britain stamps depict a young Queen Victoria, and are imperf. Sheets of the stamps were printed, and then cut with scissors, etc, and as such the lines can vary drastically between the stamps, and the straightness, and amount of edge around the actual stamp. This can effect the value of the stamp significantly. Condition is also another factor in valuing a stamp, but we’ll look at that in another section.