Reference code(s): GB 0813 POST 52 Series
Held at: British Postal Museum and Archive: The Royal Mail Archive
Title: Post Office: Stamp Depot
Level of description: Series
Extent: 1379 files
Name of creator(s):
No further information available
Prior to 1879 the Post Office was responsible for the work of storing and distributing Postage Stamps etc. This work was apparently carried out from St Martin's le Grand and because of insufficient accommodation at that address, the Post Office in 1879 sought Treasury authority for the work to be transferred to the Inland Revenue Department. Treasury approval was given and after a trial period, the work was finally transferred about the middle of 1880. This situation continued until 1911, when a Departmental Committee was set up to consider questions relating to the supply of stamps and stamped stationery. The committee, after reviewing all relevant factors, recommended that the control of production and distribution of stamps, stamped stationery, insurance stamps, postal orders and licences should be re-transferred to the Post Office together with the staff currently employed. This course was agreed by the Treasury and in March 1914 the Inland Revenue staff employed on this work at Somerset House came under the control of the Post Office Stores Department. The Inland Revenue staff employed on Control duties at Contractors works and the staff employed in the India Stamp Branch were, however, not transferred until 1922.
From 1 April 1914 the work of demanding, storing and issuing adhesive stamps and stamped postal stationery was transferred from the Inland Revenue to the Post Office and the following contracts, made by the Board of Inland Revenue were taken over by the Postmaster General.
Messrs Harrisons and Sons - for the supply of unified (Postage and Revenue) stamps other than the 6d commencing on 1 January 1911 for a period of 10 years and thereafter from year to year terminable after 12 months calendar notice.
Messrs McCorquodale and Sons Ltd - for the supply of stamped postal stationery commencing on 1 January 1911 for a period of five or ten years and thereafter from year to year terminable after twelve calendar months' notice.
Messrs Waterlow Bros and Layton Ltd - for the supply of Insurance stamps other than a small quantity of Bi-colour stamps - commencing 1 May 1912 for a period of five years and thereafter from year to year terminable by twelve calendar months notice.
There was also an informal arrangement with Messrs Waterlow Bros and Layton for the supply of High Value Postage stamps, namely the 2s/6d, 5s/-, 10s/- and 20s/- values.
The informal arrangement with Messrs Waterlow Bros and Layton was terminated in 1915, tenders being invited from four firms. Four tenders were received and a contract was placed with Messrs De La Rue whose quotation was by far the lowest.
The following abbreviations are used in the files throughout this series.
HMSO Her Majesty's Stationery Office
OOD/CSD/SOperations and Overseas Department Counter Services Division (Stamps)
OOD/CSD/MOperations and Overseas Department Counter Services Division (Marketing)
SPD/HHSupplies Division Stamp Depot
SCD/EHSupplies Division Scottish Depot
LDP/PRSupplies Division London Postal Stores Depot
LDP/RSSupplies Division London Reproduction Section
HPOHead Post Office
Scope and content/abstract:
On 1 April 1914, under authority of an Order in Council, responsibility for both the manufacture and distribution of postage stamps and related items passed from the Board of Inland Revenue to the Post Office. The work transferred included control of the contracts for the manufacture of watermarked paper, adhesive postage stamps, stamped stationery and postal orders. The records listed here are those created by the Post Office's Stores Depot, more recently known as the Royal Mail Stamp Depot. It was the latter which, in 1989, discovered this collection lying forgotten in its store, and transferred it in its entirety to the Post Office Archives. In 1995 material was sent to the Archive from Hemel Hempstead, and as other items have come to hand, they too have been transferred and added to this list. Please refer to the individual sub-series for the dates that they cover.
ACCESS AND USE
Language/scripts of material: English
System of arrangement:
The arrangement within each sub-series follows the pattern, date order, earliest to latest, within the batches of material as they have come to the Archive. In cases where there is a run of a particular or previous reference system, these have been adherred to, since to put them in any other order would not show the manner in which they were created. There is naturally some overlap both within the files in each sub-series and from sub-series to sub-series. At POST 52/0136, there is a handwritten list, (nineteen pages long), showing the dates of stamp contracts and related items, covering the period 1911-1977. The meaning of References for the 'BUS' Series of previous reference numbers and Postage files for the 'U', 'R' and HV' files can be found at POST 52/1292, and there is a list of the 'BC' files at POST 52/1273 which gives the date, contract, subject and item.
Conditions governing access:
Conditions governing reproduction:
Please contact the Archive for further information.
Please contact the Archive for further information.
Immediate source of acquisition:
Please contact the Archive for further information
Archivist's note: Entry checked by Barbara Ball
Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.
Date(s) of descriptions: Entry checked June 2011