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The Rail Link That Completed the Aerial Post Journey
***Please note the above image is an artist impression. We will update this page with a final image as soon as we can.***
The tenth cover in our second rail series, we turn to the centenary of the air-rail post, where the train at Windsor Station provided the last link in the journey of the first aerial post travelling from Hendon to London. Join us in celebrating the Air-Railway post centenary.
Special Replica Railway Letter Stamp
As with some of our fantastic other aerial post centenary covers, this cover bears both a full set of stamps taken from the Royal Mail's aerial post centenary miniature sheet, as one of our fantastic stamps from our mint sheetlet. What makes this cover so special is that it bears a wonderful 4d replica GWR railway letters stamp. The artwork used in the cover was created by the fantastic railway artist Robert Nixon, and completes what is a cover you won't want to miss out on.
This cover is also available as part of our main series, which features a full set of four stamps from the Aerial Post Centenary miniature sheet instead of a single stamp. Click here to find out more!
Our Fantastic Aerial Post Covers and Sheets
The First United Kingdom Coronation Aerial Post
The first UK Aerial Post was organised as part of the celebrations for the Coronation of George V. Because the legal charge was a halfpenny for inland postcards or a penny for inland letters, the first Aerial Post was limited to specially printed envelopes and cards at sixpence halfpenny for a card and a shilling and a penny for an envelope. The stationery was widely available and special pillar boxes were provided at all the stores, depots and at Hendon Aerodrome. The Grahame White Aviation Co. was contracted for the flights and the pilots engaged we Clement Gresswell, Gustav Hamel, E.F. Driver and G. Hubert. Four machines were prepared, two Forman bi-planes and two Blériot monoplanes
Hendon to Windsor
On Saturday 9th September 1911, twenty-three sacks with about 75,000 items of aerial mail were delivered to Hendon. They had to wait all day for the wind to drop, but at 4.58pm, Gustav Hamel took of in a Blériot with bag No. 1, the privileged mail, printed in violed, for the Royal Family and various dignitaries.
He arrived at Windsor at 5.11pm. He handed the bag to the Postmaster at Windsor. Some mail was delivered immediately, then the bag was resealed and rushed to the post office. The mail was sorted and despatched in time to catch the 6pm train to London.
Windsor to Hendon
On Sunday 17th September 1911, several thousand people gathered to see Greswell and Hamel take off for the first Windsor to London aerial mail. Four mail bags were brought from Windsor Post Office, but because the wind was still high, the pilots could only take one bag each. They used the two Blériot aircraft and took off at 5.15pm. Greswell, the senior pilot, arrived at Hendon at 5.35pm and Hamel at 5.55pm. All the mail carried that day was backstamped at the Cricklewood Post Office at 12.15am on September 18. The rest of the mail was flown the following day and not backstamped.
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Quick Facts: Centenary Air Rail Post Rail Cover is a First-day Cover Issue date : 9th September 2011
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Buckingham Covers Limited, registered in England No. 03877048 is part of Internet Stamps Group Limited, registered in England No. 03497867. Registered office for both: Warren House, Shearway Rd, Folkestone, Kent CT19 4BF, UK.