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Stamp cancellation by pen

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Nicholas Andrews03/08/2018 13:28:10
1 forum posts

Royal Mail has taken to cancelling stamps with a biro or felt tip pen thus rendering the stamps worthless. When purchasing stamps from dealers they invariably use several commemorative stamps on the envelope as a " thank you" for the order. I have a number of such envelopes with all stamps cruelly obliterated by biro or felt tip pen. I used Royal Mail's complaints procedure to no avail. It seems extraordinary one part of Royal Mail actively promotes stamp collecting and another part destroys the product in this way. I am sure other collectors must have suffered similarly. I welcome suggestions how we might discourage this practice. Arguably its understandable at a busy Christmas (which is when pen cancellation was often found) but should not happen at other times.

Billy Broadland03/08/2018 15:42:19
150 forum posts
43 photos

Hi and welcome to the forum.

This subject has been aired on this forum and many other websites numerous times.

Many collectors, myself included, have contacted Royal mail requesting the use of date stamps in preference to a biro or felt tipped cancellation.

If you are lucky enough to get a reply it will probably be along the lines of " the stamp has to be canceled so it cannot be reused."

We don't mind the stamp being canceled with a proper cancellation but to be defaced to me is just laziness.

However there are some in the hobby who now consider this type of cancellation to be part of postal history.

Paul Davey 103/08/2018 17:04:49
404 forum posts
26 photos

There was much discussion in the magazine on this subject recently.

If you have an electronic subscription worth a read. In short there was a campaign e-mailing complaints to Moya Green, the outgoing chief executive of Royal Mail. Rico Back, the new guy will presumably be receiving these now! His email address is readily found with the aid of your favourite search engine!

clivel04/08/2018 21:38:29
15 forum posts
1 photos

It is not just Royal Mail. I recently purchased some stamps from The Netherlands. The sender had taken the trouble to use a very nice selection of stamps on the envelope - unfortunately completely ruined by an over-enthusiastic Dutch postal worker who had attacked them with a ball point pen!


Mia Stampuser22/08/2018 21:36:28
14 forum posts
2 photos

The US also do pen cancels, sadly...

However, I have discovered one person in a penpal group on Facebook ignoring any marks on stamps and using them for postage (the stamps I came across were the Mr. Men issue and you could clearly see part of the Mr Tickle postmark abruptly ending at the cliff edge of the stamp, not on the surrounding envelope - I challenged her and she replied saying that the stamp was brand new, plus that her post office dont do mint stamps). At least some of her letters like this, with the pre-used stamps, have been getting letters to their destinations again.

Stephen Teuma04/09/2018 09:02:04
18 forum posts
14 photos

It seems modern day collectors are not the only victims of pen cancellations.......

QV Penny Red with Pen Cancel:

pen cancel.jpg

Billy Broadland07/09/2018 15:15:02
150 forum posts
43 photos

I don't know about a pen cancellation, that looks more like a paint brush job.

John Degner11/09/2018 21:21:19
2 forum posts
Posted by Billy Broadland on 07/09/2018 15:15:02:

I don't know about a pen cancellation, that looks more like a paint brush job.

Yes, looks like art made to hide some stamp face problems.

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