Magnificent mails in their flying machines

Royal Mail issues a miniature sheet and prestige stamp book on September 9, to mark the centenary of the First UK Aerial Post, which was the world’s first scheduled airmail service.

Gustav Hamel’s flight from Hendon to Windsor on September 9, 1911, was the first of a series by   four pilots carrying covers commemorating the coronation of King George V (see page 42).

The four stamps reproduce period photographs, and the border shows an original publicity poster. The miniature sheet was designed by Robert Maude and Sarah Davies, and printed in lithography by Cartor.

A big postal history anniversary with a big round number

It’s heavily based on photos, but here that makes perfect sense

If the period images don’t grab you, the yellow poster will!

1st class Hamel Receives First Mail Bag
Pilot Gustav Hamel is handed the first bag of mail at Hendon for the inaugural flight.

68p Hamel Ready To Leave Hendon
Sitting in his Blériot XI monoplane, Hamel prepares to take off.

£1.00 Greswell’s Blériot at Windsor
A Blériot, flown by Clement Greswell, is shown after landing at Windsor.

£1.10 Airmail Delivered At Windsor
A postman on a bicycle collects the mail from Hamel within the grounds of Windsor Castle.

The presentation pack is written by Douglas Muir, Curator of Philately at the British Postal Museum & Archive, and the prestige stamp book by Peter Lister, President of the British Air Mail Society.
The prestige book includes a pane of four 50p Windsor Castle stamps, reissued from the 2005 set of intaglio high-values.

A pane of mixed Machin printed by lithography comprises four 5p, two 1st class and two 76p values, with a central label showing the three-quarter portrait of George V by Bertram Mackennal, and two further three-stamp panes feature stamps from the miniature sheet.

A press sheet of uncut miniature sheets is available.


Miniature sheet    £3.24
Press sheet    £74.84
Presentation pack    £3.75
Stamp cards    £2.25
First day envelope    £0.30
First day cover    £4.36
Prestige stamp book    £9.97
TOTAL    £98.71