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Member postings for Fred Sellars

Here is a list of all the postings Fred Sellars has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

23/01/2020 21:30:58


There must have been several options open to them, either remove the offending fluorescent fibres by means of oxidisation or to camouflage/mask them in order not to be noticed by the use of additional optical brightening agents whilst the rag was still in the pulp stage .

It is presumed that the whiter paper was required for the Automatic Letter Facing section of the system (A L F) as this was just one of the various processes for the system as a whole to work .

After many trials and tribulations, the GPO eventually managed to acquire a paper suitable for the task in hand, this is due to the fact that all pre-decimal Machins do not display any fluorescent fibres whatsoever due to the masking technique that was finally adopted to resolve the problem previously encountered .

Due to my observations, I believe that over several years in the production of the multiple crown Wilding papers both removal and masking was attempted at various stages in order to rectify the problem encountered, finalising with the masking technique that was used on the early Machins .

TO BE CONTINUED .............

Thread: French perforation shift of the 50 centime "sower" .
21/01/2020 00:38:14

It isn't often that you find an Australian stamp cancelled in France, but this seems to be the case with this particular one at the turn of the century 120 years ago.

I first had to confirm that the cancellation was authentic and contacted Mike Bister of the France and Colonies Philatelic Society, he replied with the following comments ............

" It's a pity that early collectors removed interesting stamps from the covers. A great loss for postal historians.

The stamp has indeed been cancelled upon arrival at Marseille (in France). You can see part of the department name of Bouch du Rhône at the bottom of the CDS. The letter or postcard was unloaded upon the ships arrival where it was sorted for onward transmission to Paris. Here it would be resorted for its final destination in France or beyond. Noticing that the stamp had been missed by the Australian canceller the French postal clerk cancelled it with a Marseille cds. before putting it in the Paris bag.

It's certainly unusual to see a Queensland stamp with a French cancellation but how much better it would have been on an entire cover. "

Thanks Mike for that information, you learn something everyday with philately.



Edited By Fred Sellars on 21/01/2020 00:42:29

Thread: Ultra violet radiation of multiple crown Wilding definitives.
20/01/2020 12:54:41


The 1958 Austrian building stamps was not shown in this thread but in the " CREAM Vs WHITE " one.

The date of entry is correct though, sorry about that , you will need to look at that one for reference should you so wish .

My apologies, Fred.

18/01/2020 12:13:15

Just as a matter of interest on looking back at my posting of 5/12/19 I noticed something peculiar !

It relates to the 1958 building definitives and in particular to the 3•40S value as the marginal inscription reads ' 30•60 ' .

3•40S does not divide into to the 30•60 printed in the margin unless the sheet was comprised of stamps 9 in width, was this an error as I thought Austria was decimalised ?

As I do not have any bibliography on Austrian stamps and the sheet formats, can anyone give me an answer please .

Thank you, Fred.

18/01/2020 09:54:38



It'll all come out in the wash (pardon the pun) , but in this instance it was the reverse that was the problem .

Very little has been mentioned by the GPO with regards to the contaminants (fluorescent fibres) it's all been kept a bit under wraps, nevertheless, it would have been an embarrassment due to the length of time it took to rectify the situation ( 3 years? ) , is it any wonder why they kept it so quiet unlike the declaration of 1962 from cream to whiter papers.

If the GPO had been perturbed because of the differences in the cream paper think of what the fluorescent particles would have meant as they were much more prominent than the previous cream variations encountered, filtering the water would be of little use to remove this type of contamination.

TO BE CONTINUED ..........

Edited By Fred Sellars on 18/01/2020 09:56:33

Thread: How times have changed !
16/01/2020 14:07:42

Hi there Neil,

I see I'm not the only one with a little nostalgia for some of those golden oldies !

I'm sure that the Royal Mail could find plenty more to fit the bill if they so desired .

Another contender would be Jeff Minter "Yak" born in Reading of " Mutant Camel 🐫 " fame + various others .

I realise this is not a video game but how about " Hitchhiker's guide guide to the galaxy " , a text adventure by the late Douglas Adams that was very popular with the owners of the Commodore " PET " in days of yore .

No doubt many of the viewers could also think of appropriate alternatives that could be used .

Bye for now, Fred.

14/01/2020 13:22:07

Good afternoon Gillian,

I can assure you that the £10 Christmas bonus was originally passed by legislation in 1972 and first implemented prior to Christmas of that year.

With regards to the £1 coin being theft proof, I think you meant to say forgery proof due to the two different metals used and the inscription below the queen's head being hard to copy.

I think your decision to cut round self adhesive stamps rather than remove them is the best idea, due to the fact that they do not get damaged in any way unlike previous attempts that you may have made.

Have a nice day, Fred.

13/01/2020 09:18:46

In the early 80s, I remember buying my first computer, I kicked off with a VIC-20 that had a whopping 3½K of RAM (how times have changed) later progressing to a commodore 64 to obtain more memory, if the GPO are commemorating video games being issued on the 21st of January then they have missed out on some of the more popular games such as :-

Space Invaders


Mario brothers


Missile command/defend the cities

Lords of midnight

There are many others that I could mention and no doubt the Royal Mail are saving these for a possible issue 2 and issue 3 for the future in a similar way they have treated the Star wars trilogy.and will be real money spinners for them.


Edited By Fred Sellars on 13/01/2020 09:23:16

Thread: Meet the "FIB'S"
11/01/2020 15:57:15

img_20191217_133423.jpgimg_20200109_173609.jpgEarlier " FIB'S " have now been discovered prior to the ones previously show.

No doubt there will be others,yet to be found !img_20200109_232137.jpg

11/01/2020 15:16:36

img_20200109_182703.jpgANOTHER REASON FOR WHITER PAPERS !

All of the paper produced for British postage stamps during the Wilding period was produced at the paper mill located in a small town by the name of Ivybridge in South Devon, during its production the paper was under strict supervision by the GPO relating to quality control and security.

One of the main constituents of the paper was made from discarded rags and some of the employees known as (rag girls) was given the task of removing buttons, zips and any other contaminants that may have been present.

By using rags, it would appear over a period of time the use of detergents (high in optical brightening agents) was an ever-increasing problem in the rag supplied, and that the cream paper produced helped to enhance their presence in the form of fluorescent specks/fibres after the ragging had gone through the pulp stage, as some of the high detergent ragging was responsible and was therefore contaminating the paper with fluorescent fibres.

This MUST have been noticed in the quality control department of the GPO and would have been of a considerable concern as they were undesirable.

An early version of the contamination can be seen in the 3d FRB of 1964 and a greater contamination in the 1965 4d BoB stamp paper.

TO BE CONTINUED ............



Edited By Fred Sellars on 11/01/2020 15:20:55

Thread: Where's that Carmen got to ?
08/01/2020 13:54:02

I believe she was last seen somewhere near lake Ontario getting water to check some watermarks, as she had run out of watermark fluid !

It's only a rumour, but no one has heard from her 🤐 since August of last year .

Hope she didn't fall in ! 🤽🐳😉

Edited By Fred Sellars on 08/01/2020 13:56:11

Thread: Ultra violet radiation of multiple crown Wilding definitives.
07/01/2020 21:05:24

By obtaining a long wave and also a short wave ultraviolet lamp I have discovered many of the variations relating to the stamps issued in the United Kingdom, the main source has been from the Wilding multiple crown definitives but also some reference to commemoratives in an effort to pinpoint dates first used.

Information obtained by long wave is as follows :-

CREAM PAPERS used throughout the multiple crown issues

CHALK SURFACED first noticed in 1960

LIGHTER/WHITE(R) types of paper possibly due to the filtration of the water

FLUORESCENT FLECKS/FIBRES ( detergents in the rag ? ) first found on the 1/- Lister stamps

FLUORESCENT PAPER where additional optical brightening agents have been added at the pulp stage similar to the pre-decimal Machin papers that followed

Information found via the short wave ultraviolet lamp :-


GREEN 8mm first used on the 1958 phosphor graphites, then on the phosphor only stamps from 1960

BLUE 8mm replaced the green in 1961

VIOLET 8mm again replaced the blue in 1965

VIOLET 9•5mm was a final replacement very late in 1966 ( end of December )

All of the above changes in many respects was experimental in an effort to obtain a whiter than white type of paper and also coincided with the change of phosphors made during the progression of the automatic sorting system which was being instigated and developed/trialed during that time.

All of the above changes ( papers and phosphors ) happened between the years 1958 to 1967, even up to 1968 in some cases and all on the multiple crown watermark stamps.

06/01/2020 10:08:21

If more than one type of paper has been used for a particular stamp or issue, then it should be listed as a variety and priced as such.

It's quite obvious to me that with the 3d General Letter Office amounts of both the coated and uncoated was not printed/issued in equal proportions.

The same should also apply to all the different types of paper used.

CREAM. Officially produced up to 1962

COATED. Found on stamps printed from 1960 ( both cream and whiter papers)

WHITER. Officially produced from 1962 onwards ( after water filtration )

FLUORESCENT FIBRES Found in stamps printed from 1965 onwards ( due to OBA'S )

FLUORESCENT. As yet unsubstantiated as to first usage ( additional amounts of OBA'S )

If all the different types of phosphors can be listed including their widths, then the papers should also come under further scrutiny/investigation and should be included in specialised catalogues .


Edited By Fred Sellars on 06/01/2020 10:11:59

05/01/2020 21:33:24


The first QE ll stamps on a coated paper based on a comment made in the SG specialised volume 3 appears to be that of the 3d GLO issued on the 7th of July 1960, as it quotes the following :-

" Part of the printing of the 3d was made on chalk-surfaced paper "

But does not appear to list them as a separate printing,yet, the 2/- holiday booklet stamps i.e. the ½d+2½d definitives had separate listings.

How contrary is that ?

Surely ! What's good for the goose should also be good for the gander .

04/01/2020 14:27:08


I find it strange that after proclaiming that only white paper would be used to print their stamps post 1962 , they go and use stamp paper residue intended for 1961 commemoratives to print stamps issued in 1963 such as the 3d Isle of Man regional, how organised is that ?

03/01/2020 20:18:13


There was a further Wilding definitive printed on a coated paper that I previously forgot to mention, this being the 3d regional value for the Isle of Man. Apparently released in London around the 17th of May 1963 that was from a paper residue originally intended for the POSB centenary stamps of 1961 that was not previously used .

Edited By Fred Sellars on 03/01/2020 20:19:25

Thread: Meet the "FIB'S"
31/12/2019 13:48:29

Here's wishing both viewers and contributors of this site a very happy, peaceful and prosperous New Year 💥🍾 Fred.

30/12/2019 20:55:33

In an effort to obtain a whiter paper in conjunction with the advancements of the automatic sorting system, stamps with a facial coating started to appear on the commemorative issues from around 1961 onwards, this type of coating was also tried on the ½d & 2½d definitives of 1963 found only in the 2/- holiday booklet and for some reason this coating did not progress to other definitives in production at that time .

This type of paper can be easily distinguished by the use of a long wave ultraviolet light, as the frontal surface is much brighter than the reverse/gummed side of the stamp.img_20191222_073155.jpg

Thread: Ultra violet radiation of multiple crown Wilding definitives.
29/12/2019 22:15:26

Here you can see see a scan of the 4d BoB stamps with fluorescent fibres but in mono, which enhances their presence in the paper .img_20191229_220002.jpg

29/12/2019 21:35:14

The first comments regarding optical brightening agents (OBA's) seems to have been made by Mr Aubrey Walker (a GPO chemist) that was employed at the Dollis Hill establishment and stated in the Philatelic Bulletin of November 1979 of observing fluorescent specks/fibres in some of the papers, which he related to some of the rag used containing high amounts of detergents, giving rise to the fluorescence in them and was purely accidental possibly as a one-off occurrence.

I have been reliably informed by an eminent philatelist and renowned scientist that the paper produced at the paper mill at Ivybridge was under strict GPO supervision in its production for postage stamp paper, however, it would appear that this type of paper (FIB'S) was in constant use for over 2 years, from my observations the first being the 1/- Lister and the 4d values of the Battle of Britain stamps both issued in September of 1965 (see version of the 4d's), they have also been discovered in stamp booklets dated as late as February 1968 with many other definitive values in between (see my thread of "Meet the FIB'S"

In my estimation their use cannot be classified as " accidental " and must have been " intentional ", how can an accident happen consistently for over 2 years with GPO supervision of the papers production ?

This type of paper is more prominent and easily recognisable than the so-called cream and whiter papers but their existence has never been announced unlike the ones in 1962 .img_20191216_205146.jpg

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