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Fred Sellars03/11/2019 12:00:14
540 forum posts
218 photos

The water that Mr Sugden relates to,was obtained from the river Erme at Ivybridge in Devon, by the firm of Wiggins Teape ( now known as Arjowiggins ) producing the paper for all of the ½d to 1/6d Wilding definitives issued from 1953 onwards at the Stowford paper mill located there .

A history of the mill can be viewed on the following website :-

It makes interesting reading, Fred.


Edited By Fred Sellars on 03/11/2019 12:03:29

Edited By Fred Sellars on 03/11/2019 12:12:17

Fred Sellars07/11/2019 14:13:42
540 forum posts
218 photos

It was Harrison and sons at High Wycombe that had the contract with the GPO to produce the lower value definitives at the time and it is stated that the GPO was not satisfied with the continuity and uniformity of colour in the papers used to print their stamps, as slight variations had been discovered in the finished product due to the condition of the water taken from the river Erme in times of flood .

An agreement was made between the GPO, Harrison and sons and Arjowiggins to rectify the situation and from 1962 the water supply was pre-filtered and ' white wove ' replaced ' cream wove ' papers thereafter .

No distinction has been drawn between the fluorescent and the non-fluorescent printings since this agreement was made, however, it was the slight variations of colour that lead to the agreement to produce white papers in the first place .

It would appear that the variations got even greater after the agreement was made as whiter paper is produced by the inclusion of optical brightening agents either in the rags used or added direct during the pulp stage, these variations can be clearly seen in the scans that I have depicted .

Fred Sellars07/11/2019 14:56:16
540 forum posts
218 photos

A small correction is required ,the agreement was not made by Arjowiggins but by Wiggins Teape at the time .

Fred Sellars11/11/2019 20:00:22
540 forum posts
218 photos

The mill had previously discharged it's wastewater back into the river Erme but from 1963 an effluent plant was in operation, no doubt to keep the environment free of pollutants due to the greater use of optical brightening agents in order to produce the new white papers for the stamps required .

**Apparently on the 18th of October 1963 the 2d value printed on a white paper was originally rejected by the GPO due to the fact the chocolate brown colour had a faded appearance based on the previous cream paper ones, in a memorandum dated 4th of March 1964 the dispute was resolved, as the supplies department chose the one considered the nearest match after various trials had been made .

The fluctuation is not recognised by Stanley Gibbons unlike the 6d value (Edward Crown) from deep claret to reddish-purple from the 8th May 1958 .

** This information was obtained from the postal museum listings relating to the low value Wilding definitives .

Fred Sellars24/11/2019 13:39:51
540 forum posts
218 photos

Good afternoon viewers,

All of the stamps exhibited in this thread are based on my benchmark, contrary to other benchmarks used in the past relating to the date of issue used by other philatelic authorities ( that GB Wilding stamps issued post 1962 are only printed on a white(r) paper ) .

In order to clarify my findings, my benchmark is as follows :-

If a stamp's paper does not fluoresce under a long wave ultraviolet light it cannot be classified as a white(r) paper, due to the fact that a white(r) paper is manufactured by including optical brightening agents in its production when in the pulp stage directly as an additive, so as to give it a whiter appearance from the cream papers previously produced .

If the paper does not react to the ultraviolet test it cannot be classified as a white(r) paper, due to the fact it is void of optical brightening agents, therefore it is a cream paper whether by error or design .

When a white(r) paper is produced,bleaching agents (OBA'S) are added to the mixture along with the rags and China clay give it the whiteness, otherwise, it would be a cream paper and consequently when a long wave spectrum of light is administered to the surface of the paper it is ionised and reflects a fluorescent or glowing effect, should the paper not contain optical brightening agents it will not react and therefore cannot be classified as white(r) paper, therefore it is a cream paper by definition and spectral analysis, irrespective of the the GSM (the thickness of the paper) .

My benchmark is based on facts and not supposition, thank you .


Fred Sellars26/11/2019 11:06:22
540 forum posts
218 photos

In order to add meat to the bone, I decided to look at earlier stamps printed on a cream paper so as to compare differences found between them and the violet phosphors issued in 1966 .

In this instance, I chose a booklet pane from the George VI issue of the 1d colour change issue of 1950, as these stamps was printed on a cream paper .

It can be seen that the 10d phosphors on the left compare favourably with the 1d values, but the ones on the right are on a white(r) paper, both types of stamps on the left are VOID of optical brightening agents as against the ones on the right .

Judge for yourself !



Fred Sellars05/12/2019 21:42:09
540 forum posts
218 photos

img_20191202_002828.jpgVariations in stamp papers is not just exclusive to Great Britain, many countries throughout the world have had their share relating to varieties in the past, this has come about either by the way they are produced or have been developed over the years and can be made with many a different combination of materials that was available locally at the time . Countries ranging from India ,Russia, Canada, Australia and others too numerous to mention .

I was recently having a look at some Austrian stamps and discovered that some papers are similar to the ones found in the UK, here are two examples, the first being of the costumes definitives and the second one covers some of the building definitives of 1958 the like of which will make a fascinating study for someone so inclined .

I realise this topic is based on GB collecting, but I thought a mention would not be amiss, after all 99.999% of stamps are printed on some form of paper, a common denominator .


Fred Sellars09/12/2019 13:22:33
540 forum posts
218 photos

This thread should be read in conjunction with the " Ultra violet radiation of multiple crown Wilding definitives " .

Thank you .

Fred Sellars30/12/2019 20:55:33
540 forum posts
218 photos

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

Fred Sellars03/01/2020 20:18:13
540 forum posts
218 photos


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

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