"From my Collection"
Some interesting examples from our collections
POSTAGE DUE FROM TRISTAN DA CUNHA
For most of the last century postage due on inland mail in Britain claimed from the recipient on the doorstep with Postage Due stamps being affixed to the item of mail to represent the amount to be paid. Given that the amount due was then calculated as "double the deficiency" it might be asked why there was a ½d Postage Due stamp.
The accompanying item gives one reason for such a denomination in that here the Postage Due represents only the amount of postage that was payable on the item i.e.1½d.
The reason for this is that the sender was not at fault. When the letter was posted in Tristan da Cunha in 1939, no postage stamps were available there and hence the recipient ought not to be penalised. As can be seen it travelled via South Africa and also bears a Capetown machine cancellation.
As a dependency of St Helena, this remote island would not have its own postage stamps until 1 January 1952 when the twelve St Helena defintives were issued overprinted TRISTAN DA CUNHA. The following year the island had its own Coronation stamp and the first definitives inscribed Tristan da Cunha appeared on 2 January 1954.