Wakefield Philatelic
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This site was last updated on 10 March 2016

Visit Us at http://www.wakefieldphilatelicsociety.org.uk/

and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/wakefieldphilatelicsociety

About Us   ::   Our Meetings   ::   Contact Us

Society Officers   ::   Our Syllabus for 2015-2016

Links   ::   Wakefield Postal History


Wakefield Philatelic Society was founded in 1938, and offers stamp collectors in and around Wakefield friendly and informal meetings, opportunities to buy and exchange material, and regular meetings where members can see varied displays and meet fellow collectors. We welcome both beginners and experienced stamp collectors and postal historians. Our experienced collectors are always ready to help new collectors to develop and improve their collections with advice, to answer questions and try to solve philatelic problems.

We are affiliated to the Association of British Philatelic Societies (ABPS) and the Yorkshire Philatelic Association (YPA), and our members enjoy the additional benefits this brings in discounts from certain philatelic suppliers and participation in national and regional exhibitions and conventions.

Our Annual Subscription is:   Ordinary Members £10.00;     Country Members £4.00;     Juniors Free


Visitors are always welcome at our meetings. If you are a stamp collector why not come along and find out more about our Society? See our Syllabus below for details of our meetings.

We meet at The Standbridge Lane Community Centre, Kettlethorpe, Wakefield WF2 7NP (this is in a little cul-de-sac exactly opposite Wakefield Crigglestone Crematorium), commencing at 7pm with the Chair taken at 7.15pm.


The Wakefiekd Philatelic Society has started producing a regular Newsletter. You can access copies in PDF format by clicking on the issue date below:

Wakefield Newsletter: August/September 2014


Our Hon Correspondence Secretary: Roger Ramsden
62 Monkwood Road, Outwood, Wakefield WF1 2JX
Telephone: 01924 823987


President: David G Horner

Senior Vice-President: Julie Hitchcock

Junior Vice-Presidents: Jill Fearons

Past President: J Graham Winters, FRPSL

Hon Correspondence Secretary & Librarian: Roger Ramsden

Hon Agenda and Minutes Secretary: John Gravett

Hon Treasurer & Membership Secretary: William J B Smith

Hon Auctioneer and Programme Secretary: David G Horner

Hon Competition Secretary: J Graham Winters, FRPSL

Hon Press Officers: Julie Hitchcock and Philip Reynolds

Hon Packet Secretary: Bob Barnes

Hon Auditor: Graham Price

YPA Delegate: David G Horner

Committee Members:
Joseph Marshall
Philip Reynolds
Brian Hitchcock
Paul Schofield

OUR SYLLABUS FOR 2016 to 2017


7 September

Barnsley Postal History Pre-stamp to Queen Victoria, 1902: John Shaw

10 September

(Saturday) 10am - 4pm Channel Islands Specialisdt Society Regional Meeting, York House Hotel,
Drury Lane, Wakefield

21 September

New Zealand: Geoff Goodens

5 October

Malta: Bob Dearnley

19 October

(Committee Meeting at 6pm) Members Displays - 10 Sheets

26 October

Catalogue Auction Sale (Viewing from 4pm; Sale Starts 6.30pm)

2 November

GB Returned Mail World War II: Jeremy Piercy

16 November

Leeds Postal History: Richard Wheatley FRPSL

30 November

Members' Evening - Something Beginning with 'F' or 'G'

7 December

The Life and Times of Abraham Lincoln: Nigel Harpham

21 December

Members' Christmas Social


4 January

Penny Lilacs: Brian Hitchcock

18 January

Gambia: Mike Roberts

1 February

Competition Entries Briefing & Members 10 sheet displays

15 February

Europa: Mike Inger

1 March

Annual Competition

15 March

Competition Results and Feedback

29 March

King George VI GB: Daphne McMillan

5 April

GB in General: Ken Brown

19 April

Catalogue Auction Sale (Viewing from 4pm; Sale Starts 6.30pm)

1 May

(Monday) Annual Dinner - Wetherby Whaler, Wakefield

3 May

President's Evening

17 May

British East Africa: Joe Goodall

31 May

Falkland Islands: Robert McMillan

7 June

Gibraltar: Les Goodens

21 June

Annual General Meeting & Presentation of Trophies

19 July

Members' Meeting - Open Forum

16 August

Members' Summer Bourse - Bring/Buy/Swap


Diary of Philatelic Events

Yorkshire Philatelic Association Home Page

More links on the Yorkshire Philatelic Association's Links Page


This is an on-going project to show items of Wakefield postal history. If you have items to include please email the Webmaster (below) with a suitable caption and an image (preferably as a jpeg image).

The Straight Lined Hand-stamps

The earliest recorded postal markings for Wakefield were straight two-lined and single-lined hand-stamps in use from 1712 to 1791 struck in black in various sizes, thus:


1712 to 1787

1786 to 1791

(see the British County Catalogue of Postal History, Volume 4, by R M Willcocks and B Jay for full details).

Mileage Marks

In the eighteenth century main postal routes radiated from London, and since letters were charged for the distance carried as well as the number of sheets and weight, it was important for receiving offices to know how far a letter had been carried as they were responsible for collecting the charge where the letter was unpaid. Therefore mileage marks were introduced showing each town's distance from London.

Wakefield was first surveyed as being 185 miles from London and the earliest mileage marks from about 1786 show a straight line 'WAKEFIELD' with '185' below. The route was re-surveyed a few years later and the mileage had changed, probably because a different route was being used - the distance then being 187 miles and the mileage was changed to '187' in 1802. Circular mileage marks came into use in 1813.

The Double Arced Circular Cancellations

Circular hand-stamps with a double arc at the base were in use from about 1829.

The 'Skeleton' Marks

The so called 'Skeleton Marks' were in use from 1840 to 1851. These types of marking had a trial from the late 1830’s to the 1850’s. Being of moveable type they were used as ‘Travelling Stamps’, described in The British County Catalogue as ‘Shifting Stamps’ and also known as ‘Skeleton’ marks.

The Barred Oval and Duplex Cancellations

From May 1844 a series of numbered cancellations were issued to English and Welsh towns alphabetically. Wakefield was allocated number '831'. Early cancellers were horizontal bars in the shape of an oval. Later they became vertical barred ovals with a circular date stamp alongside - the so called 'duplex' cancels. They were in use until the squared circle postmarks took over, but in many places are found in use much later.

Cover with 831 Duplex Cancel.
1860 Wakefield Barred Oval 831 Duplex cancel

The Squared Circle Postmarks

The squared circles postmarks were introduced in the United Kingdom in late 1879 as an alternative to the duplex cancels, which were somewhat larger and more cumbersome to use. The additional arcs constituted the "killer" that marked the stamp as having been used. They declined in use from the 1910s, when new types of cancelling devices became available, and disappeared by the 1930s.

The First Post Slot - 1809

Wakefield can claim one notable first as being the town to have the oldest known post slot. It was installed in 1809 at the former Post Office building in Wood Street, Wakefield. It is an iron box believed to have been designed and fitted by the Postmaster's Clerk, Jonas Ward. When the building was demolished in 1964 the box was transferred to the Wakefield Museum. The box was featured on the miniature sheet issued on 18 August 2009 commemorating 200 years of post boxes. It can be seen in the top right-hand corner of the selvedge. The Wakefield Philatelic Society produced a special limited edition cover to commemorate this notable date and also the seventieth year since the Society's founding in 1938.

Wakefield Commemorative Cover.

Commemorative cover showing Wakefield's 1809 Post Slot (top right corner of miniature sheet)

The 20th and 21st Centuries

Modern postal history is seen by some 'traditional' collectors as boring and not worth collecting - but can nevertheless be an interesting field to study. Today's postal history material is tomorrow's scarce collectables.

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