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 Post subject: The multiple crown Wilding stamp papers 2
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2020 10:21 am 
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It would appear that not only are there variations in the papers that have been depicted in the Stanley Gibbons specialised part 3 as specified by the GPO in their declaration of 1962 in a changeover from cream to whiter papers, but several other variants of paper has also been used to print later issues after the declaration was made, it concerns 3 unlisted papers that appears to have been overlooked in the past, appertaining to the following :-

(1) A paper that appears to be encrusted with fluorescent fibres/flecks in the embodiment as seen on some of the 8d 9½mm violet phosphor printed on a whiter paper, possibly caused by the use of rags that contained high amounts of stilbene dyes used in the production of many detergents, this type of contamination was first seen around 1964 and gradually increased as time went by, other values have also been so affected, add to the fact that there could have been a possible change of rag supplier around that time.
(2) A cream type paper similar to the original creams but more translucent, used to print some of the 4d 9½mm violet phosphors first issued in 1967, and yet again other values have also been affected similarly which includes some of the 4d deep ultramarine (plain) first issued in 1965. These findings indicate that an attempt to remove the fluorescent fibres containing stilbene was made by the use of chemicals in a process known as oxidation whilst still in the pulp stage, in order for degradation to be achieved.
(3) A fluorescent paper has been used to print some of the 10d 9½mm violet phosphors, this type of paper was created by the addition of optical brightening agents in order to camouflage/mask the offending contaminants, other values printed on this type of paper are also known but not as prolific as the contaminated ones ranging from 1d to the 1/6d with a few exceptions.
(684.66 KiB)

It's just nonsensical to state that the 10d phosphors depicted in the scan below were printed on identical type papers, these variations CANNOT be ignored, just compare them to the 1d booklet pane of George Vl, are the 10d's on the left on whiter papers ? If you think that is the case, then I think you need to see an optician, as with various catalogue editors, as their definitions are a joke !
(1.01 MiB)

Are these 4d (plain) depicted in the scan below both on whiter papers ?
Both showing cylinder numbers, judge for yourself !

All of these variations can be easily recognised by the use of long wave ultraviolet radiation of around 365 nm in a similar way of differentiating the colours of various phosphor tagging by using a shorter wavelength based on the afterglow of the type of phosphor applied.

If any member is interested in these variations, I'm open for discussion on the subject.
Thank you, WM.

Last edited by Wilding Mad on Thu Jun 30, 2022 12:13 am, edited 7 times in total.

 Post subject: Re: The multiple crown Wilding stamp papers 2
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2020 2:35 pm 
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Here is another example of the contaminated papers, but this time depicting the 9½mm violet phosphors of the 6d value that gives a much clearer portrayal of the anomaly that had to be contended with by the chemists at the paper mill.

Along with two variations of paper depicting the 4d plain from booklets, with what appears to be fluorescent and cream type papers.
(964.51 KiB)

First issued on the 16th of August 1965, both of which are listed in the Stanley Gibbons part 3 specialised catalogue as being printed only on a whiter paper, this is obviously not the case as can be seen !

Last edited by Wilding Mad on Fri Mar 12, 2021 11:51 am, edited 4 times in total.

 Post subject: Re: The multiple crown Wilding stamp papers 2
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2020 3:47 pm 

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Fred, thanks for raising this excellent topic. I was invited by SG to re-write the introductory notes to the Wilding section in the most recent GB Spec Vol 3 catalogue, but this whole area was the one topic that they were not keen to expand. Essentially SG want to stick to 'cream' and 'whiter' as the only discriminant, leaving only general comments about fluorescence.
Some (major) GB dealers split cream and whiter simply by whether the paper fluoresces or not. This is a false test in my opinion.
About a year ago, with help from the RPSL Experts, I ran some analysis tests using the XRF machine on a range of 3d Wildings under white and uv light. Then I plotted the degree of 'yellowness' (i.e. the Y factor in the CMYK values under white light) against the brightness of the reaction under various wavelengths of uv light. As you would expect perhaps, there were two major clusters confirming that 'whiter' paper fluoresces and 'cream' paper does not. BUT there were outliers - which I think is the point of your post. Attached is a photo under uv which shows the great variance of the reaction.
Frank Walton

3d uv spread sample.jpg
(736 KiB)
 Post subject: Re: The multiple crown Wilding stamp papers 2
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2020 4:34 pm 
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Many thanks Frank for your contribution of the variations that you have found including cylinder numbers, but none of which appear to be as highly fluorescent as the 10d ones in the following scan.

Surely Frank, with such a vast difference, these variations can't be ignored and treated as a " catch-all scenario " that seems to be the case with SG. Plus the other aspect regarding the contaminated papers as shown in my last posting, or is it that you also can't see the difference as with SG ?

Last edited by Wilding Mad on Sat May 01, 2021 10:13 am, edited 3 times in total.

 Post subject: Re: The multiple crown Wilding stamp papers 2
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2020 7:51 pm 
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From my findings, the 10d phosphors appear to have been printed on three different types of paper and are quite distinct when applied to longwave ultraviolet radiation on comparing like for like.

(1.63 MiB)

The scan above is evidence to that fact ! unfortunately only one paper is listed (whiter).

Last edited by Wilding Mad on Sat Jun 13, 2020 9:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

 Post subject: Re: The multiple crown Wilding stamp papers 2
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2020 9:18 am 
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For all those of you that have not been initiated into the study of stamp papers you could be missing out ! Varieties are not only found in printing errors, perforations or the colour and width of phosphor bands but also in the type of paper used to print them, afterall, without the paper there would be no stamp as we know them today.

An interesting article on the subject can be found on the following site:- ... amps-paper

An ultraviolet light of around 365 nm can be just as important to the philatelist as a perforation gauge or a magnifying glass.

A further article can be read on the reasons for the various types of "tagging" given in the following by Linn's Stamp News in 2007 by the name of "Hiding in plain sight, basics of tagged stamps and ultraviolet light"

They are certainly worth a read should you have the inclination !

In the meantime here's another one of those contaminated papers but this time used to print a commemorative, taken under long wave ultraviolet then filtered into mono >

I have never seen the like of which, paper used for printing British stamps has ever been so contaminated before ! Have you ?

Last edited by Wilding Mad on Tue Jul 12, 2022 11:07 am, edited 5 times in total.

 Post subject: Re: The multiple crown Wilding stamp papers 2
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2020 4:11 pm 
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Mr Frank Walton, I have a query with regards to your scan that you submitted on the so called 3d multiple crown wildings.

The cylinder 41 could only be on a cream paper (plain).

Cylinders 78,79 and 81 would be whiter papers used for the printing of the 3d plain & violet phosphor centre band stamps.

Cylinder 60 could be either cream or whiter used to print the plain + two band blue phosphors, The one shown is possibly a cream one when comparing it with the cylinder 41.

As for the G2 cylinder, it is not even a 3d value, but a 1½d denomination and a Tudor watermark to boot !

And as for the one without a cylinder number it could be anything, but nevertheless, interesting as it appears to have blind perfs !

Frank, when you submit the like, I do expect it to be correct !

Last edited by Wilding Mad on Sun Jun 07, 2020 9:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

 Post subject: Re: The multiple crown Wilding stamp papers 2
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2020 11:48 am 
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My search in respect to the manufacture of stamp paper lead me to the Stowford paper mill sited in the small town of Ivybridge in South Devon, that was used by the GPO for all their stamp products and supplied the paper for the printers Harrison and Sons for all their Wilding low values produced, the paper mill was owned at that time by Wiggins Teape who had previously purchased it from Portals (John Allen and Sons) in 1930 **

The water used in the paper making process was drawn from the nearby river Erme and was used for all their products due to it's pure and crystal-clear water **

I was fortunate enough to discover a short film covering various aspects in the manufacture of paper at the mill in 1962, their procedures in some cases appear to be a bit "rule of thumb" in the amount of additives given to the mixture whilst still in the pulp stage, this may possibly have lead to variations found in some of the papers used for printing of stamps by Harrison and Sons !

The film can be viewed on the following site :-
Watch Stowford Paper Mill online - BFI Player

For anyone interested in the production of paper, this is a "must see" opportunity.

** Ref : Grace's Guide to industrial history.,_ ... 934_Review

Last edited by Wilding Mad on Tue Sep 29, 2020 3:59 pm, edited 3 times in total.

 Post subject: Re: The multiple crown Wilding stamp papers 2
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2020 9:26 am 
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In the opening segment of this posting, I gave a general guide as to the three unlisted types of paper to be found issued since 1962, beginning with the problem of the contaminated papers that seem to have originated around 1964 leading to further action being taken to rectify the situation, over the last 2 years I have taken many scans of the various values that have been so affected, it would appear that certain regional stamps have also been detected with fluorescent variations of paper, in this particular scan, it involves the 3d plain stamp issued for Wales, the listed varieties being numbers 1+3 in cylinder blocks as listed in the specialised SG catalogue, but the unlisted number 2 in the scan seems to have been ignored, why this is so is beyond my comprehension as the cream and whiter papers are almost identical when compared to the fluorescent ones, the scan in question follows :-

It can also be noticed that the fluorescent fibres (contaminants) have been deliberately camouflaged/masked by the additional use of optical brightening agents whilst this paper was still in the pulp stage of its production (if you look closely) traces of the contaminating fibres can still be seen !

An interesting article on some of the more technical aspects relating to optical brightening agents (OBA's) can be found on the following link.

The 1/3d Northern Ireland have had similar treatment by using three definite types of paper in their production, and can be seen in the following scan, the numbering being the same as for the 3d Wales plain.

As previously stated, these fluorescent papers where created intentionally in order to mask or camouflage the contaminants discovered, with the additional use of OBA's that was deliberately added during the pulp stage, here are blocks of 4 of the same issue :-
(499.61 KiB)

It would appear that 3 varieties of paper have also been used to print the 9d plain as can be seen in this next attachment, each one lettered for identification.
A = a cream paper
B = a whiter paper
C = a fluorescent paper
All of which are VFU
(191.98 KiB)
followed by the phosphor variations u/m that show 2 unlisted versions (cream+fluorescent papers) with frontal and reversed pics, each of which are distinctly identifiable under long wave ultraviolet light :-
(608.33 KiB)
(236.31 KiB)

These stamps have been in the public domain now for over 50 years, just how different must a stamps paper have to be to gain recognition ? The same applies also to the contaminated papers and the translucent cream ones to be found.

Last edited by Wilding Mad on Thu Mar 11, 2021 12:41 am, edited 7 times in total.

 Post subject: Re: The multiple crown Wilding stamp papers 2
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 3:50 pm 
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Of the three unlisted types of multiple crown watermarked papers that appeared from around 1964 onwards previously discussed, I found that the fluorescent fibre contaminated ones to be of the greatest importance and interest !

It was stated by the late Aubrey Walker. whilst working at the Dollis Hill establishment (the chief chemist for the post office) in a philatelic bulletin of 1979, volume 17, page 46 that this type of contamination had possibly come from some of the rag supplied and used inadvertently that was high in detergent levels : ( many of these detergents contained stilbene ( a highly fluorescent substance )) to get that 'whiter than white' appearance in fabrics, of which I am in full agreement with as to their existence within the embodiment.

And due to this error it had created a new type of paper whereby this contamination could be positively identified under longwave ultraviolet light.
Here is the top value of the set being the 1/6d 9½mm phosphor that has also been affected by the contaminants as with many other values, the first attachment being under L/W UV, with the second one filtered into mono


The amounts of fluorescent fibres found can vary from one stamp to another as with the 6d ones previously shown in my earlier posting of May the 6th that was very high in contaminants.

My next 2 exhibits is of the phosphor 7d value, these stamps were initially issued on the 15th of February 1967, being replaced on the 1st of July 1968 with the Arnold Machin design and had a comparatively short lifespan (16½ months) with the general public.
(214.02 KiB)

(1.25 MiB)

Here is another example of some of my findings relating to contaminating fibres, the two scans depicted below are of the 1/- value with 9½mm phosphor bands, taken firstly under normal longwave ultraviolet light, with the second one being filtered into mono so as to enhance their presence >
(559.65 KiB)


Papers such as these have been completely ignored by catalogues in the past and no mention of their existence has ever been made by the GPO unlike the cream to whiter ones made in 1962.

It's all been kept under wraps !

Last edited by Wilding Mad on Sun Aug 22, 2021 1:37 pm, edited 6 times in total.

 Post subject: Re: The multiple crown Wilding stamp papers 2
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 4:59 pm 

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A shame that the Deegam handbook missed Wildings; Douglas would have got his teeth into the paper question I am sure!

 Post subject: Re: The multiple crown Wilding stamp papers 2
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 5:54 pm 
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Sadly Jim, Douglas G A Myall (1922 - 30th January 2019) is no longer with us, but a "White Knight" is needed on this particular subject ! WM.

 Post subject: Re: The multiple crown Wilding stamp papers 2
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 11:28 am 
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As far as I am aware, a satisfactory answer has been given as to how and why these fluorescent papers were produced (in order to mask or camouflage the offending contaminants), the 'rag girls' employed at the mill as part of their duties, was to remove any unwanted articles that could have contaminated the paper with the rags supplied ie, buttons, zips or the odd dead mouse etc, but the removal on the rags with this type of contamination was beyond their capabilities, therefore it was left to the boffins to resolve.

The chemists at the paper mill was faced with a dilemma as to how to rectify the situation with regards to the removal of this type of contamination, and must have initially thought of a remedy by using a process known as oxidation whilst the paper was still in the pulp stage, as being most effective in the degradation of the fluorescencent particles/flecks that was the source of their problem encountered. The idea that the use of chlorine dioxide or ozone would nullify the fluorescence in the embodiment, being more susceptible in the solution phase (pulp stage).

Apparently, by using this method of removal, the process created a more " yellow (cream) type of paper " similar to the earlier creams produced prior to 1962 but of a more translucent nature, here are two attachments of the 1/6d phosphor giving a good example of an oxidised paper compared to the whiter listed version as seen under long wave ultraviolet light.......
(409.02 KiB)
(387.03 KiB)

The same applies to some of the regionals that was also printed on a cream oxidised paper, here is an example of the 4d Guernsey plain stamp that was first issued on the 7th of February 1966, with quantities sold of 4,415,040 . Sadly, only one type of paper has been listed in the specialised catalogue, which fails to list the cream paper version !
Here they are for comparison ........
(894.08 KiB)

(827.36 KiB)

Due to these cream papers being omitted in specialised catalogues and the amount currently in the hands of collectors, there can't be many available for purchase, making them a sought after item, or could it be the whiter paper that's the scarcity ?
Do you have both variations in your collection ?

As to when this type of process started or ceased is unknown, as nothing has ever been disclosed both with the contamination itself and the attempted rectifications that was made thereafter.

Dr John Sugden was also aware that nothing had ever been disclosed on this topic and made a comment over their secrecy posted in Stamp collecting Magazine in his Woodstock column No.8 of the 14th March 1968 . Quote " as official silence is absolute " .
The Woodstock Column no 8.doc [21 KiB]
Downloaded 538 times
Note the file is not an Adobe acrobat, but has WORD format.

A similar topic has been published in this month's GBJ by Austin Barnes on pages 68 & 69 that also includes findings by Dr John Sugden of Woodstock fame, some of which I am not in full agreement with, especially the condition described of the River Erme's water which he appears to be in conflict with, as the Grace's Guide defined the river as being pure and crystal clear, as referred to in my earlier posting of the 8th of May.

Further documentation can be found based on the procedures of making paper from rags on the following link :- ... er-making/

Last edited by Wilding Mad on Sun Nov 08, 2020 1:48 pm, edited 9 times in total.

 Post subject: Re: The multiple crown Wilding stamp papers 2
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 9:11 am 
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All in all, 6 different papers were used to print stamps with a multiple crown watermarked paper by Harrison and Sons of High Wycombe and a compilation of them is listed below and can all be clearly defined with the use of long wave ultraviolet radiation when comparing like with like :-

(1) A cream type of paper with an opaque embodiment when comparing to later issues, last officially used in 1962 bar the odd exception, the one used in the scan is of the 6d 1961 Parliamentary Conference.

(2) Using a similar stamp as (1) but showing the printed side is another version known as chalk surfaced paper first appearing on the 3d GLO of 1960, with the first ever coated stamps being back in the reign of Edward Vll being more highly fluorescent once radiated.

(3) A whiter type paper (so called) used after 1962, thought to have been created by the use of filtrating the water from source of supply.

The first 3 papers used have been well documented, but of the last 3, numbers four, five and six no mention has been given them but have all been classified as whiter papers as a "catch-all" scenario, irrespective of the differences. I now come on to the unlisted ones :-
(670.25 KiB)

(4) A contaminated paper created and used (inadvertently) of rag that was high in detergent content (stilbene) that was highly fluorescent as supplied and mixed in with the normal rag, that is easily recognisable when viewed under long wave UV.

(5) A cream type paper similar to the pre 1962 ones but of a more translucent nature that have been discovered on printings much later, this one being the 4d deep ultramarine with 9½mm phosphor bands issued early 1967, this type of paper was in my estimation, created by the use of chemical degradation known as oxidation, but this left a residual paper totally lacking in florescence as against the intended whiter paper required.

(6) A fluorescent paper created by adding additional optical brightening agents to the mixture whilst in the pulp stage, in order to conceal/mask the contaminating fluorescent fibres that seemed to be ever increasing since around 1964/5. By using this procedure, not only would it solve the contamination problem but also enhance the capabilities of the ALF section of the letter sorting system, giving a much needed whiter paper when letters were processed.

Isn't it time that the veil of secrecy was lifted and the cat was let out of the bag ?
These last 3 papers are definitely varieties either by accident or design, and need to be properly recognised as such.

One of the most important aspects of any company is their reputation in respect to their items produced, along with the continuity of quality that is essential to merit confidence, which should be strictly maintained at all times !

These original contaminated papers have been kept a secret and covered up for far too long and can only be classified as a debacle in the production of British stamps during that period. The fact that nothing has ever been stated over this gross error means that no lies have ever been told about them, and due to this fact I have nicknamed them "FIB'S". After all, these contaminated papers were produced under the supervision of the GPO (as stated by Mr Austin Barnes in the current GB journal) and must have met with their standards of quality at the time, otherwise they would never have been issued, but no mention has ever been reported by them officially of the contaminated papers, I wonder why ? I leave that to your imagination :geek: !

As with any new concept it may take some digesting, but be careful what you regurgitate, have a nice day and thank you, WM.

Last edited by Wilding Mad on Sun Nov 08, 2020 12:30 pm, edited 5 times in total.

 Post subject: Re: The multiple crown Wilding stamp papers 2
PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:29 am 
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In a recent report in the GBPS' journal volume 58 no.3 page 69, Mr Austin Barnes queried that he could not understand as to why these contaminated papers had been used for such a length of time in conjunction with the treated ones ! As Mr Aubrey Walker's previous statement regarding accidental use of these contaminated rags seemed to last for almost 4 years.

It would appear that the contaminated papers first started to show themselves around 1964, based on some commemoratives found, initially with only small amounts of fluorescent fibres, but as time progressed the contamination appeared to get more prominent based on my previous scans displayed, here is an early version of such a commemorative giving a reference to dateline.
(877.01 KiB)

These contaminated papers were last reported to have been issued as late as February 1968 in a 10/- booklet in a report made by Hanns Fasching of the Modern British Philatelic Circle in their "Bookmark" journal along with a query over finding cream type papers also.
Pages 148-149 from Journal 45-3.pdf [1.15 MiB]
Downloaded 565 times

This journal is normally reserved for members only, but Mr Fasching joint editor of "The Deegam handbook/catalogue" has kindly given his permission for me to show you the extract originally published in the BMJ in 2015 volume 45 no.3 pages 148/9.

And so the story continues with every picture, have a nice day. WM

Last edited by Wilding Mad on Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:26 am, edited 2 times in total.

 Post subject: Re: The multiple crown Wilding stamp papers 2
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2020 6:46 am 
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It would appear that Stanley Gibbons in their wisdom, and after consultation with some of the expert committee including Mr Frank Walton and his previous comments, was that only cream and 'whiter' be included in their listings irrelevant of other varieties that exist, and that contaminated and fluorescent papers along with oxidized papers should be ignored as a "never was" .

That being the case, can they explain as to why the 1/3d 9½mm phosphors on cream papers are not listed ? The scans below show two distinct papers, one on cream the other on a fluorescent paper with 8mm violet phosphors, both of which have been completely ignored.


Whichever way the wind blows, you can't have your cake and eat it !

Apparently it was Hugh Jefferies (the SG's catalogue editor) birthday two weeks ago, and consequently I sent him a virtual birthday cake and wished him a happy birthday.

Honestly ! No "FIB'S" as with their latest specialised catalogue ! WM.

Last edited by Wilding Mad on Sat Aug 28, 2021 5:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

 Post subject: Re: The multiple crown Wilding stamp papers 2
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2020 12:28 pm 
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There are many philatelists around the world that have concentrated their efforts into the study of stamp papers and the variances found thereof. Here is a research paper by Saleem M Khan posted in 2008 on the postage stamp chat & stamp forum of the variances found on Australian stamps, with names such as Wiggins Teape and Harrison and Sons paper (no doubt manufactured at Stowford mill) that keep appearing !

As stated it mainly concentrates on Aussie stamps, but it's all part of the " Great paper chase " and what to look out for.

Paper for printing stamps is an international product and is not just confined to the UK. Enjoy !

After all, where would we be if paper had never been invented ! It is recorded that a courtier by the name of Cai Lun during the Han dynasty of China was the originator of such an invention, sometimes disputed with reference to Egypt and papyrus parchments or the " Dead Sea " scrolls.

I now come to my latest discovery, being that of the 1/6d Northern Ireland printed on a watermarked cream paper when comparing it to the Scottish one also depicted in the same scan, both originally issued on the 1st of March 1967, this type of paper apparently is not recognised by Stanley Gibbons according to Mr Walton FRPSL but as a whiter paper only !
(638.04 KiB)

What's your perception on the situation ? Can anyone still be in denial that cream papers do exist post 1962. Here is another example of cream and whiter papers used to print the 5d phosphors,as can be seen in the next 2 scans (front and reversed views of the same stamps), are they both on whiter paper ?
(1.74 MiB)
(801.7 KiB)

Going back to regionals but looking at the other side of the variation levels so far discovered I came across this 3d Welsh stamp (plain) and compared it to a cream paper variety, the difference was quite striking as this particular stamp responded with a high fluorescence under longwave ultraviolet light, similar to non-watermarked paper.

Just to show you that I have not got confused with a non-watermarked paper, here is its profile against the light.

Just how many collectors have this particular stamp is an unknown factor as it has never been listed in any of the catalogues, and is therefore worth looking out for as with several other unlisted ones such as the contaminated and cream varieties, this particular stamp at a glance could easily be mistaken for the plentiful non-watermarked version !

This stamp has not been printed on a whiter paper as the specialised catalogue states, but on a fluorescent paper that glows brightly under a longwave ultraviolet light, and cannot be mistaken, unlike the other two versions of papers that are listed, such as the cream (from cylinder 1) and whiter papers (from cylinder 3) that are very similar as can be seen in the above scan.

How can stamps that are so different be ignored by Stanley Gibbons with reference to what Mr Frank Walton FRPSL said with regards to fluorescent papers in his earlier posting on this thread ?

The watermarked 4d for Scotland both plain and phosphor issued on the 7th of February 1966 is another example of the omissions of stamps printed on a cream paper post 1962,as they are easily identified under longwave ultraviolet light, as can be seen in the following scan.
(881.44 KiB)

I am sure that you can see the difference with both being listed in the catalogue as whiter paper.

I may be incorrect in some of my assertions but it is obvious that more research is needed on these multiple crown Wilding papers that was printed after 1962, as they can't all be classified as just whiter papers by the specialised catalogue, but one thing is for certain is that contaminated papers do exist throughout the series from around 1964 onwards.
What beggars belief is the fact that this type of contaminated paper has never been listed or even mentioned in any specialised catalogues that I am aware of. BEWARE ! WILD-ing FIB'S AT LARGE.


What is there to hide ?

You can't always treat what the GPO say or don't say as gospel, for example, try searching for a main town post office within Greater Manchester such as, Bolton, Bury, Rochdale, Oldham or Tameside, you will find that their location address are all stated to be in the county of Lancashire by the GPO acquiesced in many respects by the Royal Mail.
See my related article posted on this site on the 12th of June 2020 giving several examples. > ... =21&t=1699
It would appear that they don't even know which county they are in, or administer postally even after 46 years when the changeover was enacted in 1974 under the local government act of 1972, it could well be that this is just the tip of the iceberg regarding cock-ups ?

Could it be that the same also applies to specialised catalogues ?
It is the catalogues prerogative to either list or withhold an identified variety, but if the variety is quite prominent then an injustice towards collectors is being made if such a variety is withheld from it's contents. Isn't this the reason for a specialised catalogues existence in the first place ? One must also take into consideration that no one is infallible and that includes the specialised catalogue, as you do NOT use shortwave ultraviolet light to identify fluorescent papers as is stated in the specialised catalogue Vol 3, which is one of the many rectifications that is so needed !

All of my findings are based purely on an empirical basis and comments on analytical observations as " Every picture tells a story and sometimes can be worth more than a 1000 words ".

If you don't believe that the Wilding multiple crown papers other than the whiter ones exist post 1962 by now,then YOU NEVER WILL !

It would be interesting to know what other specialists in this field think with reference to my findings, especially notable members of The Royal (RPSL), as I am sure that not only Mr Frank Walton would also like to intervene or even possibly contribute additional information ! WM.

Last edited by Wilding Mad on Wed Jul 13, 2022 10:30 am, edited 9 times in total.

 Post subject: Re: The multiple crown Wilding stamp papers 2
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 11:27 am 
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Here are a few more contaminated papers and values not previously shown to add to the melting pot, originally taken under longwave ultraviolet light then filtered into mono for clarity.
(630.6 KiB)

(351.67 KiB)

(292.65 KiB)

It is obvious that this was not just an odd occurrence with an individual value being affected, but a whole range of values were affected by the debacle sometime between 1964 and 1968, which can be clearly identified by the use of longwave ultraviolet radiation, this process of identification also includes the more translucent creams (oxidised) and the fluorescent papers produced during this time in an effort to chemically remove or conceal the contaminants found with additional OBA's.

One of the earliest contaminated papers found must be the ½d blue phosphor, seen in the following scans, as this particular stamp was replaced in 1965 with the violet phosphor version, the first scan is under longwave UV, with the second scan filtered into mono in order to enhance the contaminants found.
(421.32 KiB)
(485.6 KiB)

In respect to fluorescent papers one of the earliest to be found has to be the 4d lighter shade (plain) that was replaced with the darker shade on the 28th of April 1965, I compared them to the 4d deep ultramarine on whiter paper and the 4d light on a cream paper as shown in the next two scans. The underlying block are 4d deep ultramarine with the top block on the left being the lighter shade on a fluorescent paper and the block on the right are the lighter shade but on cream paper.
As seen under normal light :-
(586.64 KiB)

The same stamps as seen under long wave ultraviolet :-
(548.13 KiB)

As to when the chemical (oxidation) method was first implemented to remove the fluorescent contaminants and create the more translucent cream papers post 1962, still remains elusive, but nevertheless they do exist !

There is the odd instance where the whiter paper can be more elusive than the oxidized cream or contaminated ones that have been found just to add to the confusion !

Here is another conundrum for all you GB regional fans out there, it relates to the 1/3d Scotland value, A,B & C are all non-phos.
My first scan includes the following :-

A) The original issue on cream paper (as listed)
B) A fluorescent paper variety (unlisted)
C) The whiter paper (as listed)
D) The violet phosphor on a more translucent (oxidised) cream paper (unlisted).
The second scan is of the same stamps but viewed from the reverse :-

How B,C+D can all be classified as "whiter" papers is beyond credibility, as this is yet just another example of stamps that have been omitted from specialised catalogues that should be included, consequently my reasoning is certainly not a fallacy.

Still staying with regionals, the next scan is of the Scottish 3d (plain) depicting three varieties of paper with relevant captions, if you know how to identify and where to look for these little gems, they can be purchased very cheaply for only a few pence each, the more elusive ones being on fluorescent and contaminated papers plus some later creams, as in the past the only stamps that was listed have been pre 1962 creams and post 1962 whiter papers.
(379.67 KiB)

I suspect that the expert committee of the RPSL along with Mr Frank Walton FRPSL need to make further liaison with Stanley Gibbons in order to resolve certain aspects pointed out in this posting of the multiple crown Wilding papers produced since 1962.

In my estimation there's certainly a lot of room for improvement !
What's your opinion ?

Further discrepancies have also been discovered on some of the later violet phosphor bands, but that's another story, and can be found on my latest posting "Wilding phosphor variations ?" viewtopic.php?f=32&t=1711 .
Worth viewing to make you aware of the differences discovered ! WM.

Last edited by Wilding Mad on Sun Jul 10, 2022 9:59 am, edited 3 times in total.

 Post subject: Re: The multiple crown Wilding stamp papers 2
PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2020 11:37 am 
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It would appear that contaminated papers are not just confined to various multiple crown Wilding stamps as I have recently found a similarity on a decimal Machin issue.
(165.9 KiB)

Here are the same stamps but in impact mode of those pesky contaminating fibres giving a clearer definition as it would seem that once more they have reared their ugly heads yet again !
(194.25 KiB)

After going through a selection of the same value I came across another interesting variation, similar to my findings of the multiple crown Wilding stamp papers, ranging from cream type paper, whiter and highly fluorescent ones, the differentiation cannot be defined on the printed side due to the fluorescent coating that was applied in the papers production, and can only be recognised on the reverse side of the stamps, here is an attachment that shows the difference :-
(281.24 KiB)

I don't think that these type of papers have previously been discovered before on decimal Machins that I am aware of, as these may have been overlooked in the past concerning the Deegam catalogue or SG for that matter !

Returning back to the Wildling papers and without looking at individual values, a general guide to the variations of paper can be found when inspected under longwave ultraviolet light and below I have created an attachment that differentiates them along with various captions, bearing in mind that only 2 of these variations are listed in catalogues.

There are also differing variations that can be found due to the inconsistency of amounts of chemicals used in the production of most of the paper varieties found either in the normal or rectified ones usually within tolerance, but there can be borderline cases that was pointed out in an earlier posting made by Mr Frank Walton FRPSL.

I have earmarked three individual stamps based on their potential that show the greatest range of difference,yet they should only be on a whiter paper according to catalogues and are as follows ........

1) The 3d Wales (plain) printed on a fluorescent paper that must have occurred post 1962 possibly in 1964 or later as it was replaced on the 16th of May 1967 with the centre phosphor band issue.
2) The 4d Guernsey (plain) on a cream type oxidised paper, this particular value was first issued on the 7th of February 1966 being replaced on the 24th of October 1967 with the two banded 9½mm violet phosphor version.
3) The GB 10d phosphor printed on a cream type paper and a fluorescent paper as against the whiter ones, first issued on the 30th of December 1966, in all, giving 3 distinct types of paper on the 10d value.

The three attachments to be seen are portrayed as :- under normal light, frontal and reverse views under long wave ultraviolet using identical stamps.



The differences are quite striking with the variations and cannot be classified as being the same, whichever current catalogue you may consult !

We now come to the root of the problem (contaminated papers), that apparently have never been listed or even mentioned in catalogues ! And the reason for the above paper variants that appeared from 1964 onwards.
As I have already mentioned, the cause for the contamination could have been due to a change of supplier of the rags used in the stamp papers production, and the fact that this type of paper can be found on issues from 1964 up to 1968 ** with Wildings that had the multiple crown watermark which leads us to another mystery, as to why the contamination lasted for such a length of time in conjunction to the remedial variants implemented, this is also mentioned by Mr Austin Barnes in the GB journal vol 58 no 3 page 69.
(236.5 KiB)

It would seem that one thing lead to another in the papers production, and also in their efforts to rectify the situation.
Here is an attempt to camouflage/mask the unwanted fluorescent fibre contaminants by the paper manufacturer, with the addition of optical brightening agents, which in my opinion was not very successful.

Here is a collage of some of the many varieties that are not listed in specialised catalogues of which I have previously mentioned,1,3 and 4 are based on fluorescent papers whilst the second one is a cream paper variety, and all with multiple crown watermark.
(215.55 KiB)

** See report made by Hanns Fasching 2015 posted on this thread the 6th of June.

Last edited by Wilding Mad on Thu Jul 14, 2022 10:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

 Post subject: Re: The multiple crown Wilding stamp papers 2
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 11:21 pm 
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It would seem that with the use of long wave ultraviolet light I can now disclose to you upon finding four distinct variations of paper used to print the 3d (plain) regional for Wales, which are as follows :-

1) The original cream paper produced up to the changeover in 1962.
2) The whiter version of paper produced after the changeover.
3) A lower to medium fluorescent paper (not previously noticed).
4) A highly responsive fluorescent paper (as previously mentioned)

It would appear that both of the fluorescent papers (3 & 4) appear to be identical when viewed from the printed side.
(368.16 KiB)

But on looking from the gummed side (using the same stamps) you will notice that there is quite a different fluorescent (luminescent) response of the two papers when radiated.
(164.88 KiB)

So it's not 3 different papers on this particular type of stamp but 4 that can be differentiated in a similar way to the cream and whiter papers currently listed in the specialised catalogues.
This may also apply to other values printed on fluorescent papers, and worth looking out for !

Jay Smith, a stamp dealer in the States give a good account of fluorescent and phosphorescent papers of Scandinavian countries that can be found on. ... cence.html
Once entered press resources to discover the article in question.
I have also been reliably informed by a Canadian dealer that a company similar to Stanley Gibbons in the UK by the name of Unitrade in Toronto, Canada lists fluorescent papers in its specialised catalogue for Canadian stamps.

So why oh why are British collectors being deprived by Stanley Gibbons in respect as to what Mr Frank Walton RDP FRPSL had to say on the subject, these fluorescent papers cannot and should not be brushed aside as if they did not exist !

Surely, don't we deserve the same courtesy as given to collectors of specialised Canadian stamps ?

Also the expert committee at the RPSL are aware of the contaminated papers, as Mr Chris Harman classified the contaminants as being a variety back in 2018 when I contacted them via email, but no mention has ever been given of them in any of their reports to the philatelic media as to their existence, I enclose a copy of the vis-à-vis encounter with Mr Harman at the time and his brief reply via email regarding the contaminants discovered, I should also mention that Mr Jefferies at SG did not reciprocate.

just how much difference must a stamps paper have to be to gain recognition ?

Is it any wonder that Dr John Sugden editor of the Woodstock catalogue back in 1968 stated " As official silence is absolute ".

The latter translucent cream papers that was produced appear to have coincided around the same time as the contaminated and fluorescent papers which had also started to appear, after all, a water filtration system was in operation at the mill to keep the paper whiter from 1963 onwards, therefore one must ask the question :
How could these translucent cream type papers have been produced other than by oxidation ? As this must have been the main method adopted to remove the contaminating fluorescent fibres in an effort to rectify the situation other than the masking technique also utilised.

Here are two booklet examples of the 4d plain, one being printed on a fluorescent paper, the other on a translucent oxidized cream paper variety, both of which are classified as whiter paper in the SG specialised catalogue.

Whilst still dealing with the 4d value, I have put together three variations of the violet phosphors of which can be inspected relating to the differences found in the types of paper that they were printed on, the first one is of the printed side, and using the identical stamps showing a reversed image.


How would Mr Frank Walton RDP FRPSL describe these 4d 9½ mm phosphors in the introductory notes of the SG specialised catalogue.

Surely ! Is it not time for things to be rectified/amended with regards to these papers of the multiple crown Wilding definitives ? WM.

Last edited by Wilding Mad on Tue Sep 21, 2021 11:19 pm, edited 4 times in total.

 Post subject: Re: The multiple crown Wilding stamp papers 2
PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2020 11:07 am 
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Just recently I have been in contact with the South West film and television archive in Plymouth (SWFTA) who are responsible for the preservation and distribution of various documentaries taken in their area over the years also known as " The Box ". I have now obtained their kind permission to show you various 'stills' from their 6 minute film covering various procedures undertaken at the Ivybridge Stowford papermill in 1962.
The film can be viewed in it's entirety by going to the following site ..... ... 962-online

However, by using 'stills', one can earmark certain aspects of the film giving more detail on certain procedures taken during the papers production as the film sadly lacks a commentator relating to any information to be given.
In the early stages of its production, the incoming rags that constituted the bulk of the paper had to be inspected in order to remove any unwanted items that may have been present of which would consequently have contaminated the final product, the scene appears to be clear but the dust content must have been quite high as the "rag girls" are having to wear face masks in order to protect themselves from the environment encountered.
(260.62 KiB)

Amendment made: 18th November 2021
After gaining permission to exhibit 2 "stills" from the film relating to the Ivybridge Stowford paper mill, I have now been notified that with effect from the 1st of December 2021 a charge of £60 per "still" will be made for displaying them per annum, therefore unfortunately they have now to be removed due to the charge that will be levied, however you can still view the film for free with the "rag girls" wearing their masks and additional powders being added during the pulp stage using a "rule of thumb" procedure.
Wilding Mad.

But as previously mentioned some of the rags contained high amounts of detergents (containing stilbene), and was duly responsible for the contaminating fluorescent fibres found in some of the paper used to produce some of the stamps that can be identified by the use of long wave ultraviolet radiation.
This of course lead to the intervention in the firm's attempt to remove or camouflage the problem encountered, being beyond the "rag girls" capabilities.

Another interesting feature was the point made by Mr Frank Walton RDP FRPSL in respect to the many variations of colouration to be found in some of the papers inspected being either cream or whiter examples, some of which can be attributed to the amount of chemicals added whilst the paper was still in the pulp stage.
This next picture gives a good insight as to the variances that he discovered in his findings with reference to the attachment previously submitted of the 3d values.
(260.62 KiB)

It would appear that the continuity of additives was variable over a period of time, in fact it could have possibly been every mix !

It would appear that the discrepancies on the 3 unlisted papers cannot be attributed to the "rule of thumb" variations previously mentioned, as the fluorescent fibres (the contaminants) found in some papers only exist due to the presence of the inferior rags supplied and therefore was not an additive as such. With the non-fluorescent cream papers discovered they had previously been produced by using filtered water in order that the paper would be whiter, but because of the oxidation method used to remove the fluorescent fibres they inadvertently created a more translucent type cream paper which was originally intended to be whiter. This then leaves only the fluorescent paper remaining whereby additional OBA's was deliberately added in order to camouflage or mask the fluorescent fibre contaminants but also served another purpose as it would enhance the capabilities of the ALF section of the automatic sorting system that was so needed giving that whiter than white appearance.

if you have not already downloaded the Woodstock Column report made by Dr John Sugden found in "Stamp Collecting" of the 14th of March 1968 then it can be be seen in the following attachment which includes an introductory foreword by me in conjunction to the report.

Acknowledgements go to Dr John Sugden and "Stamp Collecting 1913-1984".

I am not wanting to cast aspersions on any individual or group as a whole with what happened over 50 years ago, but a mindset seems to have arisen based on some erroneous assumptions that only two types of paper exist up to and from specific dates (cream till 1962 and whiter thereafter) as to its production, created and utilised in the printing and development of the multiple crown watermarked stamps, which was designed and based on the portrait taken of her majesty Queen Elizabeth II, with the first sitting being made on the 26th of February 1952 by the portrait photographer Dorothy Frances Edith Wilding (10th Jan 1893-9th Feb 1976).

Last edited by Wilding Mad on Thu Nov 18, 2021 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

 Post subject: Re: The multiple crown Wilding stamp papers 2
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2020 1:56 pm 
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I have just been reliably informed that the editor of Stanley Gibbons catalogues Hugh Jefferies MBE and previous editor of "Gibbons Stamp Monthly" will be retiring from his current position in the new year as the GB editor, I am lead to believe that Vince Cordell former head of the GB specialised department has been appointed to take his place within the company.
Apparently Mr Jefferies will cover Foreign & Commonwealth amendments from then on.

I suppose that a change is as good as a rest.

Mr Cordell has been with Stanley Gibbons for many years and has been pictured in the past after purchasing the Edward VII 6d I.R. Official overprint on behalf of Stanley Gibbons > ... est-stamp/
And also the rare penny red plate 77 in the past.
You can also find a commemorative cover signed by Vince on the 21st of August 2006 of the 150th anniversary of the Stanley Gibbons commemoration by Benham.

Let's hope that he can resolve (in liaison with the expert committee at RPSL) the multiple crown Wilding stamp paper saga relating to the contaminated, translucent oxidised creams and fluorescent varieties that exist, as these variations should not be ignored as in the past.

In view of Mr. Cordell's forthcoming new position, I have sent him a copy of this posting in order for him to assess the situation and any changes that he thinks may be necessary in the GB specialised volume 3 catalogue, this catalogue was last issued on the 28th of February 2019 and was awarded "Gold" in the philatelic literature section at Stockholmia in 2019, edited by Hugh Jefferies MBE with introductory notes by Frank Walton RDP and Douglas Muir RDP, with illustrations shown in colour for the first time. It will be about 2 to 3 years before an amended edition will next be published with Mr Vincent Cordell at the helm, and it will be interesting to see if any modifications have been made based on some of MY findings.

Thankfully the use of fluorescent additives on paper for stamps is no longer employed due to a more advanced technology developed, and from 1992 an oxidized type of paper was utilised initially on the H/V gold head stamps, followed by the Orchid pictorial/commemoratives in 1993, and finally the lower value definitives of that year.

This removed any impurities found in some of the rag supplied, as the fluorescent additives applied to Machins had a tendency to be fugitive when introduced to water i.e. when soaking off used stamps (view my previous posting on the topic) ↓ ... =32&t=1720

A change of paper
(292.62 KiB)

The difference is very noticeable when viewed under long wave ultraviolet light in the above attachment between a fluorescent paper and an oxidised one, from my findings, this type of paper was initially introduced as previously stated on the gold head "castles" on the 24th of March 1992, with the first representation for commemoratives without any fluorescent additives found on the Orchids set issued on 16th of March 1993, making the previous Wilding and Machin contaminated papers and variations discovered a thing of the past.
(238.99 KiB)

It was about this time that the elliptical perforation was introduced regarding definitives, coincidentally, could it be that some of the early ellipticals (definitives) have been printed on a fluorescent paper in error similar to the 3d watermarked Welsh regional ?

After making a further search on some of the regionals I discovered that the 6d value for Northern Ireland had been printed on three different types of paper, contrary to what was stated in the SG specialised (cream and whiter), an example of the additional variety can be seen in the following attachment.........
(251.03 KiB)

It would seem that with the deliberate use by the paper mill of optical brightening agents in order to conceal contaminants, it was now creating a fluorescent type of paper unlike the previous whiter paper that was originally intended by simply filtering the water, adding credence to what Dr John Sugden stated in his Woodstock column No.8 in "Stamp Collecting" of the 14th of March 1968.

Here is my explanation in accordance to some of the variations of paper to be found...........
(156.68 KiB)

If you are not already convinced that CREAM (post 1962) and FLUORESCENT papers exist, then here is another example portraying the 4d plain stamps issued for Scotland in 1966, both of which are printed on unlisted papers.

And still using regional stamps as an example, I noticed that the 1/6d values on watermarked paper for both Scotland and Northern Ireland that was issued on the same day (1st of March 1967) conflicted, and appeared to have quite different papers when compared to each other, yet they are both classified as being the same in the specialised catalogue, see the attachment below.
(527.63 KiB)

Another example of a fluorescent paper can be found on the 6d (plain) regional for Scotland comparing them side by side to some cream paper specimens in the following attachment........
(1 MiB)

I'm sure you will agree that these fluorescent papers should not be classified as whiter as is the current situation, but deserve to be listed as a paper variety and also the oxidized and contaminated ones !

Here is a simplified version of the four different papers used to print Wilding stamps as seen under long wave ultraviolet light, starting with the 1957 46th parliamentary conference printed on original cream paper, with the other three all being printed post 1962 on what has been classified as a whiter paper, please note that the 4d 9½ mm violet phosphor in this attachment was printed on oxidized cream paper , it has been stated that the whiter paper variety produced during the changeover period was accomplished by filtering the water that occasionally became discoloured obtained from the river Erme that passed by the paper mill in Ivybridge.

With an attachment of the reversed images using the same stamps.

I have not included the contaminated paper due to the fact they have normally been discovered on the whiter paper variety.

Based on my findings alone, a total re-assessment/review needs to be made of the multiple crown watermarked papers in the GB pre-decimal volume 3 specialised catalogue.

Contaminated, fluorescent and oxidised papers do exist and need to be specified as such !

 Post subject: Re: The multiple crown Wilding stamp papers 2
PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:31 am 
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It would appear that even a child can tell the difference between the variations of papers, especially the fluorescent ones as seen compared to the cream ones.

Nevertheless Mr Walton reported back on the 6th of May 2020 that this was of minor philatelic interest and the fluorescent papers only warranted a general comment in the introductory notes of the specialised catalogue being of little consequence, with no mention being given to the contaminated papers or post 1962 cream versions.
(150.21 KiB)

At least that's how I interpret the situation !

It would seem that the fluorescent paper variety is quite prolific in many of the earlier pre-decimal regionals, I have already shown you both the 6d values for Northern Ireland and Scotland, now "enter the dragon" being that of the 6d one for Wales with frontal and reversed attachments.........


Any comments from members would be greatfully appreciated.

Here is a further example of a cream paper that does not exist in the SG specialised catalogue, being the 4d 9½mm phosphor with inverted watermark, the first attachment shows the printed side, followed by a reversed image of the same stamps.........
(385.97 KiB)


Here is a further attachment with regards to the 9½mm phosphor inverted watermark booklet panes on two distinct papers.......

It would appear that the more I searched, the more discrepancies I have found appertaining to omissions in the QE II pre-decimal specialised catalogue, especially the contaminated type papers, whereby no mention has been made at all !

Also that the cream papers found on various values post 1962, was a deliberate attempt to remove the fluorescent contaminants discovered, by the use of chemical oxidation, however these cream papers unlike the earlier creams are of a more translucent nature.

Here is a before-and-after result to be found on the 8d phosphor, as seen under long wave ultraviolet light.

This type of cream paper cannot be attributed to any discoloration in the water from the river Erme due to the fact it was being filtered.

The 4d plain stamps issued for Northern Ireland was 7²/66 and due to the water being filtered from source from around 1963 onwards, only whiter papers was intentionally being produced to print British stamps.

Therefore, it stands to reason that the cream papers discovered since then could only have been produced by the use of chemical oxidation.

Cream and whiter papers exist on the 8mm violet phosphors (see scan)

And also the 9½mm ones (as previously shown) with the probability that all of the 4d deep ultramarine stamps have been likewise affected, as the above attachment is further evidenced to that fact. WM.

Last edited by Wilding Mad on Sun Mar 14, 2021 1:21 pm, edited 3 times in total.

 Post subject: Re: The multiple crown Wilding stamp papers 2
PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 6:51 pm 
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With the majority of attachments previously shown so far, the images have been seen to compare the differences between cream and whiter papers, so just for a change I would like to show you a similarity rather than the difference.
I selected a 6d plain used stamp that had been cancelled in 1960 being on a cream paper and compared it to some 9d phosphors that was first issued on 29¹²/66.


it can be seen that the two values appear to be virtually identical in relation to the colour of papers that they were printed on, compounding the fact cream papers have been used long after 1962 to print British stamps !
The only difference being that the cream papers produced up to 1962 were more opaque than the oxidised cream papers which tend to be of a more translucent nature.

Here are two attachments depicting the 2 variaties of paper to be found, that was used to print the 9d 9½mm phosphor stamps.........


After inspecting many of these 9d phosphor values I found the oxidised cream paper ones to be the most prolific and was unable to find any contaminated or fluorescent papers of any significance !

I first made postings on this topic of stamp papers on the 6th of May 2020, and since then I feel that I have covered many of the aspects and variations of paper encountered along with different denominations to be found.
And I expect that by now many members of this society (plus others) will have checked their own collections of these particular stamps in order to verify some of my findings, however, what seems to be lacking on this forum is a negative or positive response in relation to my findings from members.

Here are 2 x 4d deep ultramarine plain stamps from booklets originally issued 16⁸/65. Can anyone see the difference ?

Has the CATalogue got your tongue or my findings ?

I currently find that the latest pre-decimal QE ll specialised catalogue being as useful as a glass hammer, especially when it comes to information involving the papers used to print the multiple crown Wilding stamps post 1962 !

Here is a commemorative from 1963 and according to the specialised catalogue only one type of paper was used to print them being the whiter version, do they both appear to be on whiter paper to you ?


This can also be observed with the attachment exhibited below showing a contaminated paper that according to the catalogue does not even exist, consequently this type of paper should be classified as being abnormal under the circumstances as against other types of paper produced at that time, and is definitely a first in the history of British stamp papers when it comes to contamination.

As seen in a higher resolution.
Just like galaxies in the universe !
(797.65 KiB)


Oh well, nevermind, it looks like I'll have to stick to brass tacks as the norm, unlike some others I could mention.
Yours respectfully, WM.

 Post subject: Re: The multiple crown Wilding stamp papers 2
PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2021 1:38 pm 
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Over the past few years in my study of the multiple crown Wilding stamp papers I have had the pleasure of making contact with other specialist collectors on various subjects, and amongst them was professor Austin J Barnes who furnished me with various documentary material and much useful information.
Sadly, I have been notified by his son that professor Barnes passed away on Friday the 25th of June 2021, not only was he a highly respected philatelist with several articles being published in the GB journal, but he also had other major accomplishments, as a Bridge player for the Bolton Bridge Club he was given the Dimmie Fleming award in 2019 for services rendered for the club, but most importantly he was a world authority on magnetic resonance spectroscopy with 122 research papers.
Here are a few historical notes relating to some of his lifetime achievements >

As a philatelist with many varied talents he will be greatly missed, R.I.P. Austin.
With respect, WM

 Post subject: Re: The multiple crown Wilding stamp papers 2
PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2021 1:04 pm 
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It would appear that comments by the late Mr. Gerry Bater FRPSL has also been made on the subject of the Wilding multiple crown papers, and he came to a similar conclusion with regards to the need for masking/camouflaging of the fluorescent contamination created by some of the rags that were inappropriate, and also giving a varying range of fluorescences with the use of additional optical brightening agents during the pulp stage (see attachment derived from the 1993 GB journal)

No doubt other eminent philatelists I think will have come to a similar conclusion relating to the fluorescent fibres (contaminants) found in some of the untreated papers along with all the inconsistent variables of fluorescences to be seen.

The need for whiter paper came about mainly in 1962, but initially In order to streamline the processing of mail, during the late 1950s various trials were introduced based on experimental work carried out at the GPO's Dollis Hill establishment with an automatic letter facing machine (ALF) as being part of the sorting process, it was these experiments in which the system involved graphite lines being printed on the back of stamps so that all the letters would face the same way, previously this function was very time consuming and therefore contributed greatly to the overall processing system.
It was eventually found that just the phosphor band tagging to the front of a stamp instead of graphite lines on the back was a more suitable and viable alternative based on further experimental trials.
This is one of the earlier documentaries of the systems inauguration with the use of a prototype ALF machine.
Watch "Letter Sorting at the Post Office, 1950's - Film 19871" on YouTube

One of the reasons for the production of a whiter paper in 1962 was to increase/enhance the automatic letter facing machines' capabilities.

The more modern equivalent developed since the original graphite lined stamps in the late 1950s can now be seen in the following film, relating to the processing of letters sent from A to B without graphite lines and only using phosphor banded tagging to the front of the stamps. >
Watch "How the UK Postal Service (Royal Mail) Operates" on YouTube

Various other related videos can also be seen on the YouTube site.

A further article on fluorescence in stamp papers was made in THE GB JOURNAL dated MARCH/APRIL 1998 Vol. 36 No.2 pages 34/5
Which goes by the heading of FLUORESCENCE - MYTHS OR THEORIES written by Robin.J.Tibbenham that reads as follows >

"Most collectors of modem stamps know that fluorescence exists - even collect stamps which do not exhibit it, but ignore all the other variations.
Many philatelic authors propose theories -where there are few facts -to, as it were, fill the gaps. Many of these theories have become accepted as fact by the more credulous. However very few consider how logical the theory actually is and choose not to query it. Thus statements like 'chalky surfaced paper', 'Optical Brightening Agents were added after 1971' (implying they were not previously) and 'fluorescence in these papers is due to the OBAs present in the rags of which the "stuff' was partially made' get repeated and repeated until they are thought to be factual, whereas they are definite misconceptions at the least.
Fluorescence is emitted light, in the visible spectrum (we can see it), caused by irradiation by ultra-violet light. It occurs when the light source is present; whereas phosphorescence, although similar, can only be seen, by us, in the dark, after the light source has been removed.
These contrary reactions were used by the Post Office to assist in the sorting of mail by machine -from the time that phosphor bands were introduced; right up to 1991 when fluorescence was dispensed with.


There was also a useful side effect -UV, from the sun, caused the reaction in normal light, making the paper look whiter. This was important to the classic image that was produced by Arnold Machin: it looked much better as a clear-cut image.
Naturally the other requirement for this was a paper surface on which the ink would dry as printed, with very little absorbtion which would cause blurred lines.
From the time paper was made it was appreciated that a coating was desirable for writing (and later printing) paper. With most stamp papers this took the form of size, a glue-like substance. However the need for very rapid drying, with very rapid printing, meant that a new, less-absorbant coating was required - so calcareous materials were introduced to coat the paper with. These were actually introduced at the turn of the century. (Readers interested in this matter are referred to the article by Miles D. Glazer in the November 1997 issue of GSM.)
Because it was easier to describe all these as chalky, this wrong description lived on and has not been corrected by many who should know better. In fact china clay is the principal ingredient used for paper due to be printed with photogravure images and only lithographic printing requires the harder-surfaced chalk.
As these coatings were applied as a paste, before being heat treated, it was easier and cheaper to add any fluors at the same time. Unfortunately there was, originally, no standard laid down and so varying amounts were added. Additionally the heat process was either difficult to control and/or produced a varied effect on the fluors - causing them to emit more or less fluorescence.
This addition to the coating was not controlled until 1971, when minimum standards were set, but these were often exceeded and FCP is difficult (in some cases) to be certain about, as a direct result.
Another consequence is that there are papers whose coating fluor varies from 0 to 3 in the Wilding era, from 0 to 6 in the Machin pre-decimal era and from 0 to 10 in the decimal era.This as measured on a scale where 5 is (decimal) OCP and 10 is FCP. Many different fluorescent papers are recognised - P. 0. & Contractors paper in high values (Castles), whiter paper for Wildings, three different papers have been accepted, by most, for the Machin pre-decimal era. Plus a whole range, OCP, FCP, PPP, PCPl & 2, ACP, etc., are recognised in the decimal Machin era. Although what are (wrongly) known as Fluorescent
Brightener Omitted stamps exist in the Machin pre-decimal era, they are no more accepted than the obvious variations in brightness.
The stamps which do not exhibit a fluorerscent brightness, when they should, are the result of a faulty system causing the fluors to become inert, rather than missing. Thus these should perhaps be refered to as F .B. Inert.
Because the faulty, or uncontrollable, system produced a continually differing brightness, it is difficult to be positive in identifying differing coatings. This is a matter for the chemists not the more casual enquirer like me. However the extremes of brightness exist and, I think, are very collectable.
Collectors got used to using an ultra-violet light to identify phosphor bands, so why does this fluorescent variation continue to be ignored in the earlier eras?
The (probable) two papers in the Wilding era are recognised as different but possibly not the true difference. The (at least) three papers are recognised by the Machin Collectors ' Club Catalogue and partially by the Deegam Handbook. However the full extent of these coating variations is not yet known. If, as I think, they are collectable, is there no one who will take a more active interest in them?
I would be interested to hear from anyone who is interested - particularly anyone who has access to a spectrometer."

The above article was taken from the
MARCH/APRIL 1998 GB JOURNAL Vol.36 No.2 pages 34/35

I am not surprised over Mr T's frustration regarding fluorescence, as catalogues only usually give the coating, take for instance this 14p dark blue Machin issued 1988, it is specified that it was printed on FCP, but does not stipulate the type of paper which was coated, in order to find that out you need to inspect the non-printed side of the stamp (the uncoated side).

In the attachment above you will notice there are two different types of paper that has been used, but the difference has never been recorded/listed !

It has also been discovered that the fluorescent coatings applied to many of the Machin stamps issued up until 1991was of a fugitive nature : see my article originally posted on 4th September 2020 relating to this topic > ... =32&t=1720

The mention by the author in relation to coatings should not be attributed to the majority of Wilding definitives with multiple crown watermark due to the fact they were printed on uncoated papers but mainly in conjunction with the commemorative issues beginning in the early 1960s.

The only watermarked Wilding definitives with coatings was from stamps produced for the 2/- holiday booklet and the 3d Isle of Man in 1963, both classified as being on chalk surfaced paper.

It would also appear that Mr. Tibbenham was not aware of the contaminated papers that lead to additional optical brightening agents being implemented and used for masking or camouflage purposes, along with the other remedial action being taken such as oxidation (degradation) in order to rectify the contaminating fluorescent fibres that had been inadvertently added.

Many years ago around mid-late1964 (nobody seems knows for sure) the papers produced for the printing of stamps supplied to Harrison and sons started to become contaminated due to the use of rags supplied for their manufacture having high amounts of stilbene in them, a substance used in washing powders being highly fluorescent that give clothes that whiter than white look.

It's a possibility that about that time the original supplier of the rags may have been replaced and the rags sourced from elsewhere, I can only surmise as no official records seem to have been made.


A mention of this debacle was made by the late Mr Austin Barnes in his article in the GBJ by the name of >
" also observed fluorescent flecks (fibres) on a number of issues from 1965. These findings can be interpreted by reference to comments made by Post Office Chief Chemist Aubrey Walker in 1979 in the Philatelic Bulletin, Vol. 17, p. 46:
‘Historically, OBAs were first detected in British stamps as accidental highly fluorescent flecks or fibres randomly distributed in the paper used during the Wilding series. This effect built up slowly until the paper manufacturers deliberately added OBA. The difference is only one of degree, there is no sudden transition point. At that time the paper was not coated, so both sides show similar properties.’
It seems highly likely that the fluorescent fibres originated from the use in the paper-making process of rags contaminated with OBAs from detergents.
An explanation of the overall fluorescence exhibited by some issues is that the paper-makers, perhaps struggling to achieve satisfactorily uniform whiteness simply from the use of clean water, experimented with the addition of OBAs to improve further the whiter paper.
Alternatively it may have been an attempt simply to mask the fluorescent fibres. Possibly the provision of an effluent treatment plant at the Ivybridge mill in 1963 was in preparation for these experiments."


This is just another piece of the Jigsaw appertaining to the variations of paper used to print the multiple crown Wilding stamps.

May I also refer to a recent item issued in the following GBPS NEWSLETTER dated MAY/JUNE 2001 by the name of PAPER AND PAPER COATINGS by Robin Tibbenham.
It begins with >
Robin Tibbenham has been endeavouring to raise the profile of this aspect of collecting, especially in modern issues for some time. In this article he sets out his claim that it deserves much greater attention than the relatively few collectors who are currently looking into it.
Paper. Not a very evocative word is it? But have Postal
Historians and Philatelists ever stopped to think where their hobbies would be without it?
Much has been written, recently, about the deterioration in
paper, in the form of foxing etc.
Much more will be written about paper preservation, when it is realised, properly, how much will be lost when paper finally disintegrates.
Records written on paper could be re-stored in/on other forms. However the artefacts themselves will eventually be lost. Museums have preserved early paper items — but will they even try to preserve the many thousands of small items, like stamps?
Paper has been with civilised mankind for over three thousand years, in varying forms. It was initially quite expensive to make, but within the last few hundred years has been getting cheaper.
So where do philatelists come in? Paper has always been the least considered part of the production of stamps. No philatelic authority uses the best quality paper to print its stamps on — in fact most use the cheapest form available, commensurate with ensuring the job is done properly.
As a direct result those who take an interest in the older stamps are finding that they have an increasing number of problems to contend with.
The other side of the coin is that the situation is no better with the production of modern stamps — or is it? Considerations of preservation have not yet troubled the collectors of modern stamps — but considerations of the way the different types of paper/coating has (or should).
Do the Optical Bleaching Agents (OBA) used make it more likely that modern stamps will survive longer? They certainly make a difference to the way the stamps appear in natural light. Since we do not know exactly what or how much of what was used, we still have a problem.
Is there any other good news? Yes, of course there is. That fountain of all knowledge (supposedly), Stanley Gibbons Specialised Catalogue, used to inform collectors when the suppliers of paper to the printers were changed, and the changes of shades etc. were discussed. That stopped a long time ago and the consideration of the effect of such changes and more importantly the changes brought about by coating the paper have been ignored by all philatelists. Rather it should be said that many have noted the changes caused, but none have taken much notice of them.
Do the changes of content in paper and its coating matter? I think so and have approached both the Post Office and the printers on the subject. On the basis that it is best to start at the top, the Chief Executive of the PO was written to, but he was too busy to reply!
The more recent problems from 1960 onwards relating mainly to production, and which bridges the divide between Wilding and Machin collectors, has not been properly addressed. Don’t you think that it is time to face this and show future collectors how well we cope with major problems? Or do the majority of you feel that there is no problem?

As per the above newsletter : However, my understanding of (OBA's) relates to "optical brightening agents" being a dye such as stilbene and is therefore not an "optical bleaching agent" as stated by Robin.

Just to put things into perspective on another issue, is that Robin appears to be worried about his stamps turning to dust In around a 1000 years time, "don't worry yourself Robin, as by then I don't think you will need to worry about your precious stamps anyway, as you will have gone the same way" !!!
Wilding Mad.

 Post subject: Re: The multiple crown Wilding stamp papers 2
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2022 4:17 pm 
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The last of the watermarked Wildings was probably printed sometime around the end of 1967, that was 55 years ago, and ever since then these variations of stamp papers have been in the hands of collectors and philatelic dealers during that period of time, it's quite possible that these variations in the paper such as oxidised creams, fluorescent and contaminated papers have never been recognised and overlooked as varieties not being brought to the attention of collectors in the past.

I have respected catalogues produced by Stanley Gibbons in the past, but based on what the late Mr Frank Walton RDP FRPSL had to say on the subject of paper fluorescence regarding Stanley Gibbons attitude of the multiple crown Wilding stamp papers, made on this very same forum 6th May 2020, It does not seem reasonable, especially for fluorescent, oxidised and contaminated papers to be deliberately ignored especially when they know they exist !

One of the more visually interesting varieties of the papers found of the 3 was the contaminated ones which contained fluorescent particles that lead to the other two papers being produced, whereby no mention has ever been made of them in any catalogues that I am aware of, yet they do exist.

Isn't this the main reason as to why specialised catalogues exist ?

Tracking their date of origin and the different values affected has not always been easy but through other people's encounters and a little detective work in examining some of my own stamps, I have compiled a compressed history.

Possibly one of the first people to discover this type of paper contamination was Aubrey Walker (see attachment) back in 1979.

Followed much later by Hanns Fasching, joint editor of The Deegam catalogue, published in the "BOOKMARK" journal 2015 (see the 2 attachments), with the 3rd attachment being an enlargement of the finding giving greater clarity.



I have many examples of different denominations that has been affected, one of the earliest findings being that of the 1964 FRB 3d with only small amounts of contaminating fluorescent particles, but as time went by the contamination increased leading to remedial action having to be taken.

Around 99% of a stamp is the paper it is printed on, if you study stamps you also need to study its papers !

Sadly, only whiter papers have been listed in the SG specialised for Wilding stamps printed after 1962, however, I am sure that by now you will realise that this is not the case after seeing the contaminated, fluorescent and oxidised cream stamp papers.

Where the catalogue ends, philately begins.

Fluorescent and oxidised cream papers of the 4d value (unlisted).

The 3d Wales (plain) printed on three different papers.
(1) Cream...... (2) Fluorescent (unlisted)...... (3) Whiter.


Are you one of these philatelists to have found similar discrepancies with these unlisted papers ?

If so then please post your findings, thank you WM.

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