The postage stamps of Herm in the Channel Islands
Articles on Herm stamps
This is an updated
version of an article which originally appeared in The Reporter, journal
of the Club of Channel Islands Collectors.
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visitors to Herm can have failed to notice the
tower was built on a fairly low reef which had for many years been a
great danger to shipping in this busy channel.
Earlier shipping marks proved ineffective and an Alderney vessel,
the Occupation the Germans manned the tower, added various concrete
embellishments and installed guns but perhaps their greatest legacy was
vandalism, a story that has, unfortunately, been compounded by
trespassers since that time.
the reef and tower are recognised as an important haven for wildlife,
home to a colony of common terns and to oyster catchers, rock pipits,
pigeons and at least sixteen species of plants.
has made only one philatelic appearance of any significance although its
appearance on nautical charts means that it has featured on three other
stamp designs. The
distinction of being the only postal authority to have portrayed the
reef and tower belongs, fittingly, to the
rough conditions are captured very well on the resulting 6d value (which
paid the local rate for newspapers, packets and parcels of between 1 lb
and 10 lbs in weight) which is captioned 'ML Arrowhead at sea south of
definitive set from which this stamp comes was printed by Harrison &
Sons Ltd. When originally
issued on 1 June 1959 the stamp was perforated 13¾ x 14 but for a
second printing made in 1961 the perforation was changed to 14¾ x 14.
There are perforated colour trials in two slightly different
shades of blue and imperforate trials in the issued colours.
The definitive set was overprinted to mark a Royal Visit in 1959,
the Royal Wedding and International Refugee Year in 1960 and for Europa
in 1961 and was taken out of use on 16 September 1969 as a replacement
set with designs of boats and ships was issued the following day.
1988 the Guernsey Post Office issued a set of four stamps to mark the
World Offshore Powerboat Championships and the route of the race was
shown on a nautical chart on the 35p value with the position of Bréhon
years later the position of the reef and tower was shown on another
Guernsey Post issue, this time a miniature sheet containing a single £1.50
stamp to mark the decommissioning of HMS Guernsey.
The position of the tower is shown just inside the border of the
stamp. On all three of these
chart stamps good eyesight or a magnifying glass is required to make out
the position of the reef.
the collections of Dr Bob Forrester and David Ackroyd
Scanning and editing
by Peter Hewitt