In 1998, the Guernsey Post Office launched a new series of definitives with a Maritime theme to replace the popular flower series which has been on sale "for seven years." As of August 31, only the three-pound 'flower' stamp will remain on sale.
The first stamp in the new series, issued August 11, 1998, featured the Royal Yacht Britannia on a five-pound value.
On July 27, Guernsey added to the Maritime series with 14 sea craft that portray a vital segment of Guernsey's economy and way of life. The stamps are in denominations of 1 to 10 pence, 40 pence, 50 pence, 75 pence and one pound.
The Guernsey definitives, which are attractively designed in art deco style, were printed using a special stochastic screen, a technical refinement designed to bring out the vividness of the colors and the fine detail.
The one pound stamp displays the Queen Elizabeth II, which has visited Guernsey on several occasions. The massive ocean liner is pictured at anchor off St. Peter Port.
A small boat with an outboard motor, the lifeline to the water for the ordinary resident of Guernsey, is depicted on the one-pence stamp. The two pence stamp offers a look at a St. John Ambulance Inshore Rescue inflatable dinghy while the three pence accents the pilot boats, crewed by very knowledgeable seafarers to guide large visiting craft into and out of the harbors of St, Peter Port and St. Sampson's.
The St. John Ambulance vessel Flying Christmas III leaving port is presented in the four-pence stamp, and a part-time fisherman hauls up his crab pots on the five pence stamp. The six and seven pence stamps portray respectively, a ferry docking and the harbour Authority's workboat Sarnia.
The eight pence stamp focuses on the Leopardess, a Fisheries Protection vessel on patrol, and the nine pence displays a large fishing boat. Powerboating, a popular sport, gets the attention on the 10 pence value while a sleek motor cruiser tops the 40 pence stamp.
A private ocean-going yacht makes its way through Bailiwick's waters on the 50 pence, and the 75 pence stamp has a splendid motor cruiser at anchor in Beaucette Marina.
These Guernsey stamps are exceptionally colorful for definitives, so they will be in demand, especially among those who collect sea topicals.
Guernsey stamps are available from a dealer or the Guernsey Philatelic Bureau, Guelles Road, St. Peter Port, Guernsey, Channel Islands, GY1 1AB.
Michael O. Nowlan was born in Chatham, New Brunswick Canada. He grew up on a nearby farm, was educated, and became a teacher. In retirement, he follows his life-long avocation of writing. His credits include 16 books (four books of poems, two children's titles, and anthologies for schools). In recent years, he has written extensively about stamp collecting for CANADIAN STAMP NEWS, GIBBONS INTERNATIONAL STAMP NEWS, and other philatelic publications.