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Information and Reference of What was Found in the Archive

British Local Stamp issues for Bernera Island printed by the Format International Security Printers Ltd. and items found in the Archive

Flag of Bernera Island
Marquee for Golowe's Reference Site on the Format International Security Printers


Bernera Island British Local Stamps printed by Format International Security Printers Ltd.

BERNERA the Bernera Islands consist of Great Bernera (which covers 10 square miles and lies north-west of the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides) and Little Bernera (which covers less than one square miles and lies just off Great Bernera). A bridge connects Great Bernera to Lewis but Little Bernera is reached by boat. The Laird of the Islands maintains a local postal service with three posting boxes on Great Bernera and one on Little Bernera which are serviced at regular intervals for the benefit of tourists. The boatman who ferries visitors to the uninhabited Little Bernera, carries a supply of Bernera stamps. He also collects the mail and reposts it in the official post office on Great Bernera with a British stamp added. Postal rates are double those of the United Kingdom and proceeds from the sales of stamps go to the Bernera Community Council, from whom they are available.

The Format Printers had presence between 1981 and 1987 in producing only the Leaders of the World Automobiles and Locomotives issues for Bernera Island. All other labels were produced privately. Visit my specialized page on the sets for more detailed information on the varieties that were produced. During 1981 to 1987 the Format Printers produced four sets for the island. The actual years the labels were issued was a mystery for many years. No documentation was saved and only the last set of automobiles has been proven to be printed in 1987 from a single printers invoice. It was discovered that Mr. Clive Feigenbaum kept the order of issue filed on the Stampdile website. He being responsible for the production of all the Bernera Island issues.

It is controversial as to whether or not the labels were actually used for their intended usage. It is documented that 1900 sets of the 1987 Automobile issue were produced by Format. This quantity can be used for the earlier issues as well. Full sets of some issues are becoming scarce. The possibility of forgeries is real.

The first set produced for Bernera was in 1981. This locomotive set was the prototype for all the other Leaders of the World Locomotive issues that began in 1983. Not having the LOTW inscription is probably because they were not under the status of stamps.

Imperforates exist.

Bernera Island 1981 Locomotives 1st Issue

Imperforates, varieties and made for collector errors exist.

Bernera Island 1983 Locomotives 2nd Issue

It is not known at present if this set was ever issued or actually produced. Only these proofs seem to exist. We cannot find any source for normal issues. Aside from red/blue die proofs nothing else seems to exist. Do you have information to share on this set?

Bernera Island 1984 Automobiles 1st Issue Proofs

Progressive color proofs exist for four values.

Bernera Island 1984 Locomotives 3rd Issue

Imperforates and color proof sets exist.

Bernera Island 1987 Automobiles 2nd Issue

These were the last British Local stamps printed by the Format International Security Printers Ltd. for Bernera Island. The company soon after went into bankruptcy.

References taken from:
Inventory list for the Format Archive by Robson Lowe
Christie's Final Sale Catalog of the Format Archive
Internet Research

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UPDATED LAST ON: 20-Mar-2016 09:03 AM