Queen Elizabeth, Wilding stamps

Great Britain
'Wilding' Postage stamps issued 1952-1967 during
the reign of Queen Elizabeth II

1961 to 1966 - the phosphor era with multiple crowns watermark on the paper.

This period had a good variety of events of national and international importance commemorated on the postage stamps, with different designers being used. I find them very interesting, and a good snapshot of what was considered important at this time. From 1962 the commemoratives were issued both with and without phosphor bands, but as it is difficult to show these bands on a webpage, I have only illustrated non-phosphor examples.

High Values - castles, the set issued in 1963 printed this time by Bradbury Wilkinson. A cursory glance at examples of these stamps will show no difference from the earlier printings, particularly if they are used copies. To identify them you need to check the paper and watermarks.

High Value stamps

28 August, 1961 Centenary of the Post Office Savings Bank: Designer P. Gauld 2½d,[24,720,000]

M Goaman the other two 3d, [114,360,000] 1s 6d [7,560,000]

This issue was printed on two machines, the 2d and 3d values both being printed on the Timson and the Thrissel machines, and the cylinder number is a means of identifying the different printings

18 September 1961 European Postal and Telecommunications Conference : Designer M. Goaman (doves T. Kuperschoek)

2d [47,530,920], 4d [7,614,480], 10d [5,427,780]

25 September, 1961 Seventh Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference : Designer Miss F. Jaques

6d [16,680,000, 1s 3d [5,760,000]

14 November, 1962 National Productivity Year: Designer: David Gentleman
There were two printings of this issue. The non-phosphor was myrtle green, and the phosphor issue was olive green

Blue phosphor was used for the first time on a commemorative stamp with this issue - but it is not possible to see this on a webpage. The 2½d and 3d stamps had inverted watermarks as the paper was trimmed to eliminate edge cracks, after coating for the watermark. The trimming necessitated rewinding the paper before printing and resulted in the inverted watermark. The 1s 3d was upright as normal.

2½d [99,240,000], 3d [182,580,000], 1s 3d [8,832,000]

From this issue all the commemoratives were issued both in non-phosphor and phosphor lined, but as the stamps are the same we are only showing one set of each on the web pages.

21 March, 1963 Freedom from Hunger : Designer M. Goaman

[Nr sold 2½d 97,050,000 non-phosphor/ 2,784,920 phosphor]
1s 3d [Nr. sold non-phosphor 9,009,000/phosphor 624,960]

7 May, 1963 Paris Postal Conference Centenary : Designer Reynolds Stone

[ Nr sold 18,536,400] [Phosphor 1,430,800]

16 May, 1963 National Nature Week : Designer S. Scott 3d, M. Goaman 4½d.

[Nr sold 3d 148,560,000, phosphor; 8,640,000] [4½d, 12,480,000, phosphor 1,140,000]
31 May, 1963 Ninth International Lifeboat Conference, Edinburgh: Designer D.Gentleman

[2½d, 81,405,000; phosphor 4,239,000; 4d, 7,475,040, phosphor 840,000; 1s 6d, 7,484,780, phosphor 886,000]
15 August, 1963 Red Cross Centenary Congress ; Designer H Bartram

3d; 157,277,800, phosphor 10,349,280; 1s 3d; 7,278,120 phosphor 929,040 ; 1s 6d 6,995,160 phosphor 1,038,840]
3 December, 1963 Opening of COMPAC Cable : Designer P. Gauld

[Nr. sold 8,015,880, phosphor 824,280]

1964 - 1965 commemoratives 23.4.1964 Shakespeare Festival : Designers C & R Ironside - 2s 6d, D. Gentleman - others. The 2s 6d stamp did not have phosphor lines added.

The designs showed Puck and Bottom from Midsummer night's dream, Feste from Twelfth Night, The Balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet, the Eve of Agincourt from Henry V and finally Hamlet with Yorick's skull.
[Numbers printed 3d 133,670,000 phosphor 12,330,000; 6d 20,039,569 phosphor 1,136,440; 1s3d 8,530,480 phosphor 826,520; 1s6d 8,832,520 phosphor 1,017,480.
The 2s 6d stamp had three printings, the first one with 2,470,400, 2nd printing 844,720 and the third printing 848,440. So there must have been an unexpected demand for that stamp at the time.
1 July, 1964 20th International Geographical Conference, London: Designer D. Bailey

[Nr printed 2½d, 109,768,120; phosphor 3,732,880. 4d 20,292,000; phosphor 708,000. 8d 9,508,960; phosphor 491,040. 1s6d 11,283,120; phosphor 716,880.]

5 August, 1964 10th International Botanical Congress, Edinburgh : Designers M & Sylvia Goaman

[Nr Printed 3d. 183,554,000; phosphor 14,460,000. 6d 36,680,280; phosphor1,320,720. 9d 14,690,020; phosphor 1,310,980. 1s3d 17,619,280; phosphor 1,380,720.]

4 September, 1964 Opening of Forth Road Bridge: Designer A. Restall

[Nr sold:3d. 108,098,480; phosphor 8,020,920 6d 12,055,960; phosphor 1,240,800]
1965 - There was a surprising number of issues this year, nine in fact,with a total number of 24 stamps.

8 July, 1965 Churchill (1874-1965) commemoration: Designers D Gentleman and Rosalind Dease from Karsh photograph

This was an interesting issue because 3 machines were used for the printing: two for the 4d; the Rembrandt - cylinders 1A/1B which proved to be unsatisfactory, so was changed to the Timson - cylinders 5A/6B.[Nr printed non-phosphor 32,040,000] The 1/3d and the phosphor bands were printed on a flat plat sheet-fed "Linotype and Machinery No.4" cylinders 1A/1B. [Nr printed 8,196,000]

19 July, 1965 700th anniversary of Simon de Montfort's parliament: Designers S.R. Black 6d, Prof. R Guyatt 2s 6d

As with the Shakespeare issue, phosphor bands were not applied to the 2s6d value stamp.
[Nr sold : 6d 12,973.800; phosphor 1,537,920. 2s 6d 24,450.]

9 August, 1965 Salvation Army Centenary : Designers M.C. Farrar-Bell 3d, G. Trenaman 1s 6d

These two cylinder blocks show the colour registration bars at the bottom of the sheet, and the cylinder colour numbers on the left.


[Nrs sold : 3d 54,312,000; phosphor 4,261,200. 1s6d 5,244,120; phosphor 652,320.]
1 September, 1965 Commonwealth Arts Festival : Designers D. Gentleman and Rosalind Dease

[Nr sold: 6d 12,264,840; phosphor 1,621,080, 1s6d 5,003,000; phosphor 788,880]

1 September, 1965 Centenary of Joseph Lister's discovery of Antiseptic Surgery : Designers P. Gauld 4d, F. Ariss 1s

[Nr sold:4d 92,167,440; phosphor 10,732,800. 1s 8,368,800; phosphor 1,452,360.]

15 September, 1965 25th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain :Designers D.Gentleman & Rosalind Dease 4d, 6d 1s3d and A.Restall 9d.

This was an unusual design in that there was a set of 6 se-tenant different designs for the 4d value, as shown in this block from the edge of a sheet of stamps.


The 1s 3d stamp on the right shows a colour shift at the top of the sky, and is visible on the contrails.
[Nr. sold : 4d 103,417,440 ; phosphor 11,560,440. 9d 6,195,960; phosphor 1,140,120. 1s3d 6,469,440; phosphor 1,239,840].

8 October, 1965 Opening of the Post Office Tower :
Designer C. Abbott.

[Nr issued : d 51,291,120 ; phosphor 4,274,880. 1s3d 5,722,320; phosphor 1,107,480.]

25 October, 1965 20th Anniversary of U.N.O & International Co-operation Year :
Designer J. Matthews

[Nr issued: 3d 50,598,720; phosphor 4,488,240. 1s6d 5,476,800; phosphor 1,018,560.]

15 November, 1965 ITU centenary : Designer A. Restall

[Nr. issued: 9d 5,321,880; phosphor 556,080. 1s6d 5,287,920; phosphor 589,800.]

25 January 1966 Robbie Burns Commemoration. Designer: G.F.Huntly

[Nr. sold:4d 77,905,176; phosphor 1,226,160.]

28 February 1966 900th Anniversary of Westminster Abbey. Designer : Sheila Robinson

[Nr sold: 3d 48,703,426; phosphor 5,247,720. 2s6d 2,819,056, no phosphor printing.]

The Wilding portrait was replaced after this issue, and the new design had a silhouette portrait of the Queen adapted by David Gentleman from the coinage.

In case of insufficient postage, the Post Office issued Postage Due stamps, and these have a long history too, being issued on paper with the Tudor crown watermark and the St Edwards crown watermark. The set illustrated here was issued over a period of 1959 to 1970 with multiple crowns watermark which was sideways.

To return to any of the sections, click on the links listed below.

The first years 1952-1955
1955-1960 definitives and commemoratives
1961-1966 commemoratives
Definitive stamps inverted watermarks
Coil stamps and leaders
Sheet markings
Stamps in booklets
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