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Collect British Stamps: 1924-1925 British Empire Exhibition

GB Stamps for the 1924 and 1925 British Empire Exhibition The British Empire Exhibition was held at Wembley in Middlesex close to London during 1924 & 1925. The event was officially opened by King George V on 23rd April 1924. At this time the British Empire was made up of 58 countries and only Gibraltar and Gambia were not represented at the exhibition. The cost at the time of £12 million made sure this would be the largest ever exhibition staged anywhere in the world and over 27 million visitors attended while it was open.

Stamps commemorating the exhibition were issued for both 1924 and 1925. The stamps all featured similar designs to that shown here. The penny value was red and penny halfpenny value brown. The first day of issue for the 1924 stamps was 23 April 1924 - the day King George V opened the exhibition - and the 1925 printing was issued on 9 May 1925. Apart from envelopes posted by visitors many different letter cards, postcards and souvenirs were produced commemorating the exhibition. Collectors today tend to refer to the stamp sets as being either the "1924 Wembley" or "1925 Wembley" commemorative issues.
Around 25 different special postmarks, many featuring the lion logo, were used during the exhibition in both years. The most commonly seen examples are those used on regular mail. The parcel handstamps, registered marks and specific exhibitor postal markings can be very scarce.

First Day Covers for the stamps are very collectable and, depending on condition and postmarks, prices can easily exceed a £1,000 for the most desirable. The 1925 stamps on FDC are very much more valuable than the 1924 issue as many collectors at the time did not recognise the new 1925 stamp as a proper new issue meaning far fewer were serviced with FDI postmarks.

Collectors should note that the stamps were only sold at the exhibition which means examples bearing first day of issue postmarks from other parts of the UK away from the exhibition (or London) are extremely rare. A number of forgeries bearing Rhyl postmarks on the 1924 issue turned up in the 1970s so excercise caution.

Several postal stationery items - including pre-paid postcards, envelopes and letter cards - were produced for both years of the exhibition. While First Day of use cards are very collectable, the 1925 stationery items are far more valuable than the 1924.

The stamps for both years were recess printed by Waterlow & Sons. In 1924 the stamps were normally line or comb perforated whereas only comb perforated examples are found for the 1925 stamps.

New GB postage stamps still influenced by Arnold Machin

Arnold Machin Centenary Stamps

Years after his passing in 1999, Arnold Machin is still making a huge impact on British stamp design. Perhaps the most interesting use of his iconic Queen's head design is on the latest Post and Go stamps which many collectors believe will prove to be the start of a new generation of postage stamps where services and values are overprinted at the point of sale on pre-printed stamp designs.

It therefore seems fitting that the centenary of Arnold Machin's birth was the subject of Britain's first ever commemorative Post & Go stamps.

Printing The London 2012 Olympics Definitive Stamps

Squared Circle Postmarks

Did You Know?

Did you know:  The Penny Black was issued on 6th May 1840 and is generally recognised as the first postage stamp in the world. A few stamps were released to the public on 1st May 1840 by mistake. Covers showing May 1840 use of the Penny Black are very valuable and those pre-dating 6th May are extremely valuable. Another stamp was issued two days later after the Penny Black called the Twopenny Blue. Value aside, it is a similar design to the Penny Black - but obviously coloured blue instead of black - and, although less famous than the 1d black, is actually rarer and more valuable.

Recent British Stamps & Philately Articles

The 1897 Prince of Wales Hospital Fund Cinderella Stamps
Cinderella stamps rarely get a mention on most GB philatelic websites - including ours I'm afraid - so it's time to put things right by writing about the Prince of Wales Hospital Fund Stamps. These stamps - which had no postal validity - were nevertheless expertly produced to mark Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897 using high quality engravings produced by De La Rue. So why were they issued? [...]

Royal Mail To Increase Small Parcel Sizes?
It seems highly likely that Royal Mail is about to announce significantly enlarged dimensions to be defined and priced as "small parcels". [...]

Numerical Symmetry 12th December 2012 Special Postmark
For the final time this century a date approaches where the day, month and year can all be represented by the same number and Royal Mail are marking the day with a special Birmingham "Numerical Symmetry" postmark dated 12-12-12. [...]

New Post & Go Faststamps To Be Issued by BPMA Hytech Machine
The British Postal Museum & Archive (BPMA) has announced it will be getting a fully functioning Royal Mail Post & Go machine on 3 December 2012. This will make the BPMA the first place to get a permanent Royal Mail Hytech Post & Go machine outside of a temporary exhibition environment. [...]

British Postal Museum and Archive Reviews Search Room Opening Hours
The British Postal Museum and Archive (BPMA) are considering making changes to the opening hours of their Archive Search Room and want feedback from members of the public. [...]

A Critical Review of The Royal Mail 2009 Naval Uniforms Stamp Issue
Prior to retirement in 1999, Mike Bishop MBE served in the Royal Navy and the Ministry of Defence where he spent many years working on the policy side of Royal Navy uniforms and was a member of the Dress and Uniform Committee responsible to the naval authorities for all matters uniform. Since retiring Mike has been researching the history of Royal Navy uniforms and he is currently compiling a detailed chronology on the subject. [...]

Starting A Post Office Label Sheets Collection
In the rare moments of peace I've had over the holidays I've been thumbing through the 2009 Stanley Gibbons Concise Catalogue considering new collection ideas for 2010 and, the result is, I've decided to build and maintain a complete collection of the Post Office Label Sheets as catalogued by SG for the reign of Queen Elizabeth without including the privately produced "Smilers Sheets". [...]

Royal Navy Uniforms Featured on New GB Stamp Issue
The latest set of British commemorative stamps to feature military uniforms is scheduled for release by the Royal Mail on 17th September 2009. The set of six stamps depict more than 200 years of tradition and development in the uniforms worn by the Royal Navy which proudly claims the title of being the UK's Senior Service. [...]

How to Check for Reperforated British Wing Margin Stamps
Many of the GB surface printed stamps issued during the reign of Queen Victoria were printed on sheets containing panes of stamps meaning several of them were abnormal in size due to a so called "wing margin". Checking stamps for repoerforation can sometimes require a lot of experience and a well trained eye. So how can a less experienced collector check their own stamps? [...]

Edward VII GB Stamps 1902-1913

The stamps from the reign of Edward VII are an ever popular period for British stamp collectors and philatelists. Although only 19 basic stamps were issued during this period, the employment of three different printers means a huge array of variations exist relating to the paper, perforations and shades of printing ink. This explains why the Edward VII era is the subject of many specialised GB stamp collections.

Take a look at the live online Edward VII stamp auctions ending soon.

British Stamp & Philately Sites From Our Directory

Elite Stamps
US based online stamp auctions website that aims to highlight the cream of rare stamps and philatelic auctions from around the world.

Tractors on Stamps and Philatelic Covers
A page dedicated to collectors of farm tractors on stamps and covers.

Royal Mail Stamps Featuring Living People
Interesting article PDF file by Peter Jennings highlighting the current shambles of this once rigid Royal Mail policy.

Global Philately
Philatelic blog for all things philatelic, with a focus on the classics of the British Empire and Commonwealth

Index of GB Machin Definitive Issues at Wikipedia
A simplified listing of the iconic Arnold Machin designed definitive issues in use in Britain since 1967.

Collect Indian Stamps
Every Indian Stamp has a story to narrate.The rich cultural heritage of India is brought alive through stamps.Stamp collect is no more just a hobby it's an educational avocation.This dedicated site on indian philately will keep you up to date with latest

Machin Forum
The place to discuss the definitive stamp. Internet forum focused on the iconic QEII Definitive stamps featuring Arnold Machin's portrait of the Queen.

Footyphila Plus
Sports philately with an emphasis on football (soccer).

Stampex Website
The Competitions at Stampex are held under the auspices of the Association of British Philatelic Societies.

AK Philately
Adrian runs this interesting blog on all things philatelic from around the world.

The Whitehaven to Huddersfield TPO
Derwent Railway Society web page about West Cumberland's last Travelling Post Office (TPO)

GB First Day Covers
Search among thousands of British First Day Covers at

Centenary of the First UK Aerial Post

First UK Aerial Post Centenary

We wrote some time ago about the first UK Aerial Post in 1911 and how the centenary of the event was approaching. As expected the Royal Mail marked the centenary on 9th September 2011 with a special stamp issue featuring photos of the event and a miniature sheet shown above which is styled on the publicity posters which were used to advertise the original event.

Plymouth philatelic postmark The featured GB philatelic postmark for Tuesday Mar 20 2018 is from Plymouth.

Collectors can get this special postmark applied by sending the stamped (minimum 1st Class rate) addressed envelope(s) to:

Wales & The West Special Handstamp Centre
Royal Mail
220-228 Penarth Road

You can ask for any date (including public holidays) to be applied to your covers provided you send them to arrive on or before that date. It is advised you send a suitable return envelope also if you want the covers sent back protected rather than individually through the regular mail service.
We feature a different UK philatelic postmark every day so check back again

GB Stamp Set Creates an A-Z of the UK

The Royal Mail has now finished what they announced as "a dramatic 26-stamp, alphabetical odyssey around the UK" featuring stamps showing iconic landmarks from across all four countries that make up the UK.

In 2012 Royal Mail completed the series with 14 stamps featuring places like "Station X" at Bletchley Park and the Tyne Bridge in Newcastle. The journey had actually begun when the UK A-Z Part One was issued back in October 2011. This comprised of twelve 1st Class stamps showing landmarks from A to L. The stamps took a fresh look at some of the UK’s most famous sights, ancient to modern and from spiritual to spectacular. Learn more about these stamps

GB Stamp Collecting & British Philatelic Publication News

The Stanley Gibbons Collecting British First Day Covers Catalogue provides a comprehensive listing for FDCs for the 1840 Penny Black to very recent issues. The latest catalogue features more than 6000 illustrations of the various postmarks (including c.d.s. and machine slogans) used on the First Day of Issue for stamps and the pages feature illustrations of several hundred first day covers.

All the official FDCs (sponsored covers) are listed along with prices. Over the years your humble webmaster here at has used the information contained in this catalogue to identify many rare covers featuring scarce postmarks being sold as normal covers by unsuspecting sellers using the online auctions. Order from Stanley Gibbons or see if one is available in the philatelic catalogue online auctions.

Discover Philately

Royal Mail Copyright & Intellectual Property: Please note that most Royal Mail stamp designs and postmarks are the intellectual property of the Royal Mail. has permission to display images of Royal Mail stamps and postmarks on this website. We cannot give permission to other parties to use Roayal Mail's IP and any such enquiries should be made via Royal Mail Intellectual Property.