Guernsey stamps: Ancient Postal Routes

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Guernsey's Europa stamps depict mail and packet ships that sailed between Guernsey and the United Kingdom, as the post office adds their contribution to the 'Ancient Postal Routes' theme.

Bridget Yabsley, head of philatelic at Guernsey Post, explained:

‘Before the arrival of air mail in the 20th century, the only option for sending post to the Channel Islands was by sea, and crossing the busy Channel could be hazardous. As a result, the English Government ordered the establishment of the Channel Islands Packet Service; in 1794, two identical fifty-plus foot-long, eighty-ton cutters began servicing the route from Weymouth to the Channel Islands, a passage scheduled to take sixteen hours, which sailed alternately every Thursday. The rates of postage were set at 2d. for a single letter, 4d. for a double letter and 6d. for a treble letter.’

The stamps depict:

  • Earl of Chesterfield (50p stamp)
  • Ariadne (68p stamp)
  • The Antelope (70p stamp)
  • The Alberta (85p stamp)
  • Isle of Guernsey (95p stamp)
  • Sarnia (£1.02p stamp)