A study of the various types of British Retail Trading Stamps

We all have and handle these from time to time. "Back of book", Revenues, "Cinderellas", duty stamps and all kinds of other stamp like labels. Discuss them all HERE!

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saphilatelist
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A study of the various types of British Retail Trading Stamps

Post by saphilatelist »

Being in the retail industry I have an interest in the many marketing methods used - especially when they involve stamps.

Trading stamps have been around for over a century. No-one seems to know who did them first but the largest and most successful trading stamp company was Sperry & Hutchinson who started in the United States in 1896.

Image

This thread has been set up for collectors to record their British Trading Stamps.

I have also set up threads for trading stamps from Australia and America.

Australian Trading Stamps -
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=15983


American Trading Stamps -
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=15984


Regards

Martin
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Re: British Trading Stamps

Post by norvic »

saphilatelist wrote: This thread has been set up for collectors to record their American Trading Stamps.
Perhaps the title should be changed then :?: :?: :?
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British Trading Stamps

Post by saphilatelist »

Thanks norvic, the perils of cut and paste.

The title is correct, but the sentence should of course read

"This thread has been set up for collectors to record their British trading stamps."

Regards

Martin
Last edited by saphilatelist on 16 Dec 2009 01:56, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: British Trading Stamps

Post by saphilatelist »

Green Shield Stamps.

These would be the most famous of British trading stamps. I only have two books. The vertical format book contains stamps with a '6' denomination. Two sizes are stuck in the book. I think the smaller replaced the larger size.

Image Image

The 1964 Trading Stamp Act allowed stamps to be redeemed for cash and from this date they bear a face value. The stamps in this book bear a face value of 0.075 of a penny.

Image

A block of stamps in this book shows a nice pre-printing paper crease that has opened out leaving a large white flaw across four stamps.

Image

Any further details on Green Shield stamps appreciated.

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Re: British Trading Stamps

Post by saphilatelist »

Sperry & Hutchinson (UK)

America's largest trading stamp company also operated in the UK. Here's a book offered on ebay some time ago but I missed it. I think it would date from the early 1960s predating the 1964 Trading Stamp Act as the stamps contained within do not have a denomination.

Image

Image

A block of stamps in my collection shows the words "UNITED KINGDOM" at the base of the earlier stamps (see above) replaced with the face value of 0.075d. This would date from 1964 to 1971 - when decimal currency was introduced in the UK.

Image

Cheers

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Re: British Trading Stamps

Post by saphilatelist »

The Co-operative Wholesale Society Ltd.

These "CO-OP" dividend stamps show redemption values of .080d and .033p suggesting they date from 1971 or thereabouts.

Image

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Re: British Trading Stamps

Post by Global Admin »

What a big discount -- .33 of a penny!
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Re: British Trading Stamps

Post by norvic »

Global Administrator wrote:What a big discount -- .33 of a penny!
Ah, but that's the dual currency version - .080d and .033p.
The co-op (I think) also produced larger stamps which were 4 x the size of these but counted for a whole page in the book.
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Re: British Trading Stamps

Post by gavin-h »

Global Administrator wrote:What a big discount -- .33 of a penny!
Glen, read that again - it's .033 of a penny.

And that's not the discount - that's the "cash value" of the stamp which under UK law was (and still in for some savings/discount schemes) a different matter. As Martin said:
saphilatelist wrote:The 1964 Trading Stamp Act allowed stamps to be redeemed for cash and from this date they bear a face value. The stamps in this book bear a face value of 0.075 of a penny.
A book of Green Shield stamps or S&H stamps (commonly known as "Pink Stamps" at the time) could be exchanged for a more valuable gift, maybe a few pounds in value, but the companies were obliged by law to provide a cash value for each individual stamp, so they made those "surrender values" as small as possible, i.e. the tiny fractions of a penny shown.
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Re: British Trading Stamps

Post by saphilatelist »

gavin-h is right.

Some of the American trading stamps have a cash redemption value of one thousandth of a cent!
More on those when I start scanning the hundreds of different types I have.

Regards

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Re: British Trading Stamps

Post by Revenuer »

Some later Co-Ops

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Re: British Trading Stamps

Post by adam78 »

There's a pile of these in the Jim Brodie estate, which we at the RPSNZ are still grinding through the process of lotting.

I'll add images later.

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Re: British Trading Stamps

Post by adam78 »

Actually I was living in London in 1991 when the "new" Green Shields stamps called it a day.

Image

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Re: British Trading Stamps

Post by gavin-h »

adam78 wrote:S&W, and Soverign

Adam,

The caption on the top one is incorrect - it's actually "S&H" for "Sperry and Hutchinson". The error is understandable - the script "H" looks very like a "W". A later version with a clearer typeface was illustrated earlier in this thread.

By the way, these were commonly known at the time, with great imagination and for fairly obvious reasons, as "Pink Stamps". :shock:
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Re: British Trading Stamps

Post by ernelopez »

Beautiful stamps!! Thanks for sharing!

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Re: British Trading Stamps

Post by azzaro »

Anyone have an idea of where these originated......

Found in a New Zealand Bulk purchase.......value = 0.125p which could be UK or NZ?

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Re: British Trading Stamps

Post by AlanB »

Azzaro — these stamps and similar designs were in use in the UK by Co-Operative supermarkets in recent years. They were for specific offers (towels, cookware, cuddly toys) rather than dividend stamps.
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Re: A study of the various types of British Trading Stamps

Post by adam78 »

I found the backup of the original lost images from 2010 above so for completeness here they are.
Brooke Bond
Brooke Bond
Cigarette trading coupons
Cigarette trading coupons
Co-Op
Co-Op
Gateway
Gateway
Green Shield
Green Shield
Green Shield
Green Shield
Leisure Arts
Leisure Arts
Lyons
Lyons
Misc trading stamps
Misc trading stamps
Pink
Pink
Regal Trading
Regal Trading
S&W and Sovereign
S&W and Sovereign
Victoria Wine
Victoria Wine
Xmas books
Xmas books
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Re: A study of the various types of British Trading Stamps

Post by honza »

Ahoj everyone!

What a pity so many earlier pictures are dead!

Here are a few scans of items which I put on ebay after exploring the attic. They were mainly collected at petrol stations in the 1970s, I think.

a) Civic stamps folder

036.jpg

b) Civic stamps inside

036a.jpg

c) Pink Stamps Booklet

037.jpg

d) Pink Stamps inside

037a.jpg

e) Blue Chip Catalogue front

038.jpg

f ) Blue Chips catalogue rear

038a.jpg

Cheers,

Honza
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Re: SAVED saving stamps

Post by adam78 »

Iain P wrote: 29 Apr 2022 22:51
And finally, a stamp but not a copyright stamp. It's a shame about the bite out of it, but it still has vintage charm:
Image

The above is taken from the nearby thread on copyright stamps.

I have four others like this, all the same p15x14, but found in New Zealand. Used as store saving stamps - booklet notes they are purchased from a vending machine, so a form of saving. I know Sainsbury's had a machine dispensing £1 stamps when I lived in London in 1990-91.
SAVED saving stamp 6d rose
SAVED saving stamp 6d rose
SAVED saving stamp 6d convolvulus
SAVED saving stamp 6d convolvulus
SAVED saving stamp 6d chicken
SAVED saving stamp 6d chicken
SAVED saving stamp 1/- needle & thread
SAVED saving stamp 1/- needle & thread
The 6d chicken apparently came from Napier butchery in 1965, while the 1/- is affixed to a Turangi Supermarket (1970) Membership Pass Book (noting NZ went decimal in 1967).
Turangi Supermarket savings booklet cover
Turangi Supermarket savings booklet cover
Stamp Saved 1 shilling Turangi booklet
Stamp Saved 1 shilling Turangi booklet
Anyone seen these before, or any others in the series?
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Re: A study of the various types of British Trading Stamps

Post by adam78 »

Here is the Sainsbury stamp I purchased back in 1990 or 1991.
Sainsbury £1 saving stamp 1990
Sainsbury £1 saving stamp 1990
Obviously a coil which makes sense for a vending machine.

Looking at the stamps above, I wonder if they weren't actually sold over the Supermarket counter from sheets, they dont have any sign of being through a vending machine, despite what the back of the booklet says.
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Re: A study of the various types of British Trading Stamps

Post by Global Admin »

Yes they look like sheet stock to me?
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Re: A study of the various types of British Trading Stamps

Post by Jon E »

adam78 wrote: 04 May 2022 11:03 Looking at the stamps above, I wonder if they weren't actually sold over the Supermarket counter from sheets, they dont have any sign of being through a vending machine, despite what the back of the booklet says.
Sheets would be a bit cumbersome for a shop counter or supermarket. With Green Shield stamps, most supermarkets had coil dispensing machines (example: https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/tesco-superm ... /892926970 - didn't copy it here as it is Getty images). Some dispensers would have two coils, one 5-wide and one single width and I remember them sometimes spewing out reams of the stamps as if someone had just won a jackpot !

Smaller shops wouldn't go for the cost of machines so would have booklets of stamps:
1960s Shop Book of Green Shield Stamps
1960s Shop Book of Green Shield Stamps
1960s Shop Book of Green Shield Stamps - Contents
1960s Shop Book of Green Shield Stamps - Contents
Each page of a booklet would have the same code - (or "Pad Number"), in this example EAFT / 769. Its difficult to count the remaining stubs, but I reckon each book had 100 pages

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Re: A study of the various types of British Retail Trading Stamps

Post by OldDuffer1 »

Yes, I remember queueing up for the Co-op "Divi" ! A popular cigarette one was Embassy Regal - many a food mixer or sandwich maker was bought with these, I would guess!

"Green Shield Stamps was a British sales promotion scheme that rewarded shoppers with stamps that could be used to buy gifts from a catalogue or from any affiliated retailer. The scheme was introduced in 1958 by Richard Tompkins, who had noticed the success of the long-established Sperry & Hutchinson Green Stamps in America.

For just a few years, the scheme was so widely adopted that it was referenced in rock songs. But it suffered when Tesco ceased to use it, as part of a price-cutting policy that became standard nationwide. To retain business, Green Shield allowed customers to buy gifts from the catalogue with a mix of stamps and cash, but soon the catalogue became cash-only, and the operation was re-branded as Argos. Stamps were withdrawn altogether in 1991 and the company entered voluntary liquidation in 2002."
Wikipedia

Never knew that about Argos! (A very depressing shopping experience!)
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Re: A study of the various types of British Retail Trading Stamps

Post by Bill H UK »

My dad once got Green shield stamps on a car he bought from a dealer in the mid sixties.
And they all had to be licked and stuck in books before you could spend them.
I can still taste them now, I think.... :D
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Re: A study of the various types of British Retail Trading Stamps

Post by OldDuffer1 »

Bill H UK wrote: 20 Feb 2023 22:08 My dad once got Green shield stamps on a car he bought from a dealer in the mid sixties.
And they all had to be licked and stuck in books before you could spend them.
I can still taste them now, I think.... :D
What did he buy with them?
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Re: A study of the various types of British Retail Trading Stamps

Post by Bill H UK »

OldDuffer1 wrote: 20 Feb 2023 23:30
Bill H UK wrote: 20 Feb 2023 22:08 My dad once got Green shield stamps on a car he bought from a dealer in the mid sixties.
And they all had to be licked and stuck in books before you could spend them.
I can still taste them now, I think.... :D
What did he buy with them?
I can't remember. I think the car was about £300(!!!). Probably something boring, like an ironing board, knowing my dad. I remember being disappointed that it didn't get us as much as I thought it was going to!

(I'm sure I would have got something out of it, to be fair!)
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Re: A study of the various types of British Retail Trading Stamps

Post by Jon E »

Whilst I'd got the tradings stamps book out, I thought I'd see what else I might have to add to this thread. Starting with the green shield stamps, there was a later design, this time in glorious multi-colour … well, OK, 2 blurry colours.
Later multi-colour Green Shield Stamps
Later multi-colour Green Shield Stamps
Also, in common with number of trading stamps, green shield also had a x10 value. There are at least two different designs; apart from imperf vs perforated sides, the green is a lot thicker on the imperf version and there is a very slight difference in size.
Green Shield x10 Stamps
Green Shield x10 Stamps
Also a Green Shield mystery item; these seem to turn up as pairs of 10 stamps, imperf and oddly do not have gum.
Card of two sets of 10 Green Shield Stamps
Card of two sets of 10 Green Shield Stamps
They are also significantly smaller than the normal version, so would not have fitted properly in the standard books.
Normal vs card Green Shield stamp.
Normal vs card Green Shield stamp.
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Re: A study of the various types of British Retail Trading Stamps

Post by Jon E »

The following is the blue chip stamp to go with a book that was illustrated in a previous post.
Blue Chip Trading Stamps
Blue Chip Trading Stamps
Also illustrated earlier was a Leisure Arts stamp, for which I have another version (one in previous post on the right for comparison):
Cash Stamps (Leisure Arts)
Cash Stamps (Leisure Arts)
The following are the x10 versions of the pink stamps illustrated on an earlier post. There as at least two types, perf vs imperf edge, with the blue of the imperf stamp a lot thinner.
Pink Stamps X10
Pink Stamps X10
Also illustrated earlier were Regal trading stamps.; below are enlarged versions, one of which is rouletted instead of perforate and with differing designs. The deeper coloured perforated example appears to be quite fugitive as the book they are in had a patch of damp.
Two types of Regal trading stamps
Two types of Regal trading stamps
Regal tradings stamps book - front and rear covers
Regal tradings stamps book - front and rear covers
And finally on the theme of updates for previous posts, the equivalent stamps - or rather stickers - issued by petrol stations in the later 80's or maybe early 90's:
Selection of trading stickers issued by petrol stations
Selection of trading stickers issued by petrol stations
TTFN,
Jon
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Re: A study of the various types of British Retail Trading Stamps

Post by Jon E »

And finally from me, some mystery items. The first one I know nothing about and just assume it is a trading stamp, in which it is the most generous one to date - 0.125p !
JMP-NEWCOR AG Bonus Point Label
JMP-NEWCOR AG Bonus Point Label
This mystery block I again know nothing about. Early trading stamps all seem to be 6d, later ones marked with a tiny sub-penny value, so no idea what these 2d labels might have been used for:
Royal Coupon 2d stamp / label
Royal Coupon 2d stamp / label
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Re: A study of the various types of British Retail Trading Stamps

Post by Jon E »

Time moves on and some more additions for this highly popular thread :lol: . Another Regal stamp book turned up:
Later Regal trading stamp book - front and rear covers
Later Regal trading stamp book - front and rear covers
It contains a right old mix of stamps – was the inclusion of Regent stamps just confusion or was there an actual link ?
Page from Regal book with variety of stamp designs
Page from Regal book with variety of stamp designs
The book contains three versions of the “Regent” design:
Regent design with "D" in value
Regent design with "D" in value
Regent design without "D" in value
Regent design without "D" in value
I can only guess at why the value changed to just a numeral; the law changed so the stamps had to have an actual cash value, and that certainly wouldn’t be 6d !

There are also two more varieties of the Regal stamp too:
Two more versions of the Regal trading stamp
Two more versions of the Regal trading stamp
Interestingly, like the Regent stamps, the one on the left has lost the ‘D’ from the value … whilst the one on the right is dreadful quality but does now include a cash value – 0.05d.

And once you had saved up one or more books, what things could you get ? Well, the book includes some pages listing fantastic priceless objects of desire, a couple of which are shown below:
One Regal stamp book buys you these
One Regal stamp book buys you these
100 Regal books and you could get a fridge ! Wonder if anyone did ?
100 Regal books and you could get a fridge ! Wonder if anyone did ?
Wait ... there's more ...
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Re: A study of the various types of British Retail Trading Stamps

Post by Jon E »

Now a few more images for co-op starting with pre-decimal values:
Co-op Pre-decimal Trading Stamps
Co-op Pre-decimal Trading Stamps
And a dual currency version from the 1971 decimalisation period:
Co-op decimalisation issue
Co-op decimalisation issue
The following illustrates “Bonus” stamps instead of the usual “Dividend” stamps.
Co-op "Bonus" trading stamp.
Co-op "Bonus" trading stamp.
Why the difference ? No idea, and whilst the left design is common, I’ve only the one block of those on the right:

As for who printed these stamps, I managed to find a block of Harrison test stamps and it suggests many of the bonus/dividend stamps certainly for the major outlets such as supermarkets were printed by Harrisons:
Harrison test stamp and some probable Harrisons printings
Harrison test stamp and some probable Harrisons printings
Wait ... there's more ...
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Re: A study of the various types of British Retail Trading Stamps

Post by Jon E »

Another Green Shield stamp book has turned up, this time for the “new” colour stamps and is complete , which confirms my previous suspicion that the books had 100 pages.
"New" Green Shield stamp counter book.
"New" Green Shield stamp counter book.
In the selvedge of each page, there is a page number at the very top. The for each row there is a copy of the bottom half of the pad number (D43), whilst the upper character portion of the pad number (ABA) only appears at the very bottom of the selvedge. This suggests the two halves of the pad number were printed separately; comparing a number of different examples, the first half of the pad number is usually in the same position relative to the word “NEW”, yet the 2nd part of the pad number varies greatly.
Green Shield stamps - variation in pad number
Green Shield stamps - variation in pad number
Still not nerdy enough for you ? Well, there does seem to be different size fonts – compare examples (B) and (C), though is (D) just an over inked version of (C)?

And just like “proper” stamps, there are varieties to spot, such as a dropped numeral ‘6’:
Green Shield stamp - misplaced digit
Green Shield stamp - misplaced digit
Wait ... there's yet more ....
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Re: A study of the various types of British Retail Trading Stamps

Post by Jon E »

And so to Brook Bond, here’s a card filled with stamps:
Full card of Brook Bond Tea stamps
Full card of Brook Bond Tea stamps
One stamp stands out as odd – It isn’t a missing black, however I think bigger boxes of tea would have multiple stamps with the black center, whilst the smaller packets of tea would only have one for which the black center was omitted. When redeemed – and presumable returned to Brook Bond, would this difference provide useful feedback I wonder? The two designs are also of slightly different height.
Two distinct types of Brook Bond Tea stamps
Two distinct types of Brook Bond Tea stamps
Later on, the “stamps” were printed directly on the cardboard of the tea packet and rouletted instead, sometimes with fake printed perforations:
Brook Bond "Stamps" printed on carton.
Brook Bond "Stamps" printed on carton.
The occasional addition of black borders are in fact just remnants from the packet design.
The following I think is an earlier design:
Earlier Brook Bond Tea stamp
Earlier Brook Bond Tea stamp
These were printed onto a label that was then partly stuck to the tea packet enabling the stamp to be easily removed.

Just one more page ... honest ...
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Re: A study of the various types of British Retail Trading Stamps

Post by Jon E »

Finally some odds and ends. This first one is unusual simply because it is a quality printing:
"A1" Bonus Stamp block of 6
"A1" Bonus Stamp block of 6
Then some images that I pilfered from various internet auctions:
Random Tading Stamps
Random Tading Stamps
Finally, I hope our own I.B.Redguy won’t mind me blatantly stealing some of his images for this thread:
Two more odd Tranding Stamps (I.B.Redguy)
Two more odd Tranding Stamps (I.B.Redguy)
Whew, its warm in this anorak, better take it off and finish here :-)
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Jon
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Re: A study of the various types of British Retail Trading Stamps

Post by Global Admin »

Some very cool stuff there Jon .. near none of it I'd ever seen before. :)

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Re: A study of the various types of British Retail Trading Stamps

Post by OldDuffer1 »

Jon E wrote: 24 Aug 2023 01:48
Another Green Shield stamp book has turned up, this time for the “new” colour stamps and is complete , which confirms my previous suspicion that the books had 100 pages.

Image
In the selvedge of each page, there is a page number at the very top. The for each row there is a copy of the bottom half of the pad number (D43), whilst the upper character portion of the pad number (ABA) only appears at the very bottom of the selvedge.

This suggests the two halves of the pad number were printed separately; comparing a number of different examples, the first half of the pad number is usually in the same position relative to the word “NEW”, yet the 2nd part of the pad number varies greatly.

Image
Still not nerdy enough for you ? Well, there does seem to be different size fonts – compare examples (B) and (C), though is (D) just an over inked version of (C)?

And just like “proper” stamps, there are varieties to spot, such as a dropped numeral ‘6’:
Image

Wait ... there's yet more ....
Enough already! Errors on Green Shield Stamps! (Is there a Specialised Catalogue? :lol: )
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Re: A study of the various types of British Retail Trading Stamps

Post by Jon E »

OldDuffer1 wrote: 24 Aug 2023 19:42
Jon E wrote: 24 Aug 2023 01:48 And just like “proper” stamps, there are varieties to spot, such as a dropped numeral ‘6’:
Image

Wait ... there's yet more ....
Enough already! Errors on Green Shield Stamps! (Is there a Specialised Catalogue? :lol: )
You may laugh, but such errors multiply the value considerably - that block must now be worth at least 1000 (milli)pence :-)

OK, no more errors on Green Shield stamps. I promise.

So here's some errors on Co-op stamps :D
Pad number error on Co-Op trading stamps
Pad number error on Co-Op trading stamps
Another pad number error on Co-Op trading stamps
Another pad number error on Co-Op trading stamps
There were lots of blocks in the same book, same pad number, but there was only the above freaks and I've not noticed this happening anywhere else.

Oh, and I forgot another book:
Thrift Stamp (London) Co Ltd Book Inside and outside covers
Thrift Stamp (London) Co Ltd Book Inside and outside covers
Which contains 2 different values, which are either cleanly printed or rather rough - no in-between:
Thrift Stamps - Pre and post decimalisation (1971)
Thrift Stamps - Pre and post decimalisation (1971)
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Re: A study of the various types of British Retail Trading Stamps

Post by Global Admin »

I'd venture that Harrison printed most on this page.

That very odd LARGE perf hole in each block of 4 is highly distinctive and will only have been Harrison.

Image
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Re: A study of the various types of British Retail Trading Stamps

Post by Cullen »

Some more examples:

BigA1.jpg




BigA2.jpg
GS1.jpg
GS12jpg.jpg
coop.jpg

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Re: A study of the various types of British Retail Trading Stamps

Post by Jon E »

Global Admin wrote: 24 Aug 2023 23:21 I'd venture that Harrison printed most on this page.

That very odd LARGE perf hole in each block of 4 is highly distinctive and will only have been Harrison.

Image
It sure is, though why it is there, or why it is offset on the double sized stamps is a mystery to me.
Double size stamps with offset large pins.
Double size stamps with offset large pins.

Cullen wrote: 24 Aug 2023 23:57 Some more examples:

Image
Do you have a larger picture of some of those stamps?

Previously I mentioned the odd mis-numbered stamp which I hadn't noticed before. Well another Co-Op bonus stamp has turned up (decimal this time) and that also included a wrong number:
Co-op Bonus stamp, with mis-numbering (2nd stamp row 2)
Co-op Bonus stamp, with mis-numbering (2nd stamp row 2)
So, happening to have a number of the "pink" stamp books that I'd accumulated - and nothing better to do - I checked through the books and it turns out errors are common - if highly variable. That is, one pad number may never have anything odd, whilst another is absolutely littered with them.
Incorrect number, also partially printed digit, with three blocks showing this to be consistant
Incorrect number, also partially printed digit, with three blocks showing this to be consistant
Example of mis-aligned digits (and number error) - there were multiple blocks indicating this was consistent,
Example of mis-aligned digits (and number error) - there were multiple blocks indicating this was consistent,
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Re: A study of the various types of British Retail Trading Stamps

Post by Cullen »

Hope this helps.

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Re: A study of the various types of British Retail Trading Stamps

Post by Jon E »

Cullen wrote: 26 Aug 2023 15:27 Hope this helps.

Cullen

Image
Thanks Cullen that helps. Just wondering if you can zoom in any more say a block of 4/9 ? But yes, the above does help, cheers.

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