Alderney’s post boxes depicted on Bailiwick stamps

Stamps depicting each of Alderney’s seven distinctively coloured post boxes are to be released by Guernsey Post’s philatelic bureau next month. Wonderfully illustrated by Alderney artist Nickie Shales, the stamps will be released on 14 February 2024.

The design of post boxes has evolved over time. They were initially painted green to blend in with the countryside, before being painted red in 1874 to make them more visible. In 1980, Alderney’s post boxes were painted a distinctive blue colour to complement Guernsey Post’s new branding and have remained so ever since.

The custom of including a royal cypher on letter boxes dates back to the first roadside boxes from the reign of Queen Victoria. One of the earliest in existence is from the Channel Islands: this first box bears the initials of Queen Victoria – VR – which stands for Victoria Regina – Regina meaning Queen in Latin. Of the seven post boxes found in Alderney, only one bears the cypher V.R. and is located on the High Street outside the museum entrance.

When George V became King in 1910, a new cypher was developed, which was simpler and bolder in style: the letters G.R. were not interwoven unlike the cyphers of his father and grandmother. Two post boxes in Alderney bear George V’s cypher – one at Whitegates overlooking the golf course and Essex Castle, and another on Victoria Street.

As had become tradition, when Elizabeth II came to the throne in 1952 she was involved in the approval of her new cypher, opting for a bold design similar to that of George V’s. The two letters E.R. are separated by the Roman numerals II.

As the longest reigning monarch in British history, more than half of all British boxes carry Elizabeth II’s cypher. There are four in Alderney, which are located at the airport, Braye Road Railway Station, Route de Picaterre and Route de Braye, overlooking the beach.

65p: Alderney Airport, E.R. post box

88p: Whitegates overlooking golf course and Essex Castle, G.R post box

£1.20: Route de Picaterre, E.R. post box

£1.36: Victoria Street by Anchors shop, G.R. post box

£1.68: Route de Braye overlooking Braye beach, E.R. post box

£1.74: High Street, museum entrance, V.R. post box

£4.29 Miniature Sheet: Braye Road Railway Station, E.R. post box

The stamp products are available to pre-order from 31 January 2024 at or by calling Philatelic Customer Services on +44 (0) 1481 716486.



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