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Bermuda 1950 Provisional Newspaper Wrappers

Provisional Issue, oval frank in black or violet “BERMUDA / ¼d / POSTAGE PAID” to make up the rate to ½d  
and ¾d to make up the rate to 1d, on ¼d brown KGVI newspaper wrappers

Does anyone have any more information on these wrappers?

On 1 Dec 1950 the inland newspaper rate was increased from ¼d to ½d per 2 ounces and the overseas newspaper rate was increased to 1d per 2 ounces. Wrappers with this oval frank were only supplied to the two daily newspapers on Bermuda - “The Royal Gazette” and “The Mid-Ocean News”.

However many wrappers managed to get into private hands and be cancelled by favour. These CTOs are known with the following postmarks - Bailey Bridge, Crawl, Devonshire South, Flatts, Hamilton, Harrington Sound, Ireland Island, Mansgrove Bay, Paget, St Georges, Somerset Bridge, Southampton and Warwick. All the known CTO wrappers are addressed to Bowie. The person believed to be responsible for producing these wrappers was Commander Eric David Bowie (born 1900, died c1970). Bowie was a stamp dealer from about 1937 to the late 1970s.

For the full story about Bowie see
Commander Eric David Bowie RN, by David Horry, in the British Caribbean Philatelic Journal No 258, January 2016


Bermuda Baileys Bay
Bailey's Bay

Bermuda Newspaper Wrapper 1951 - Crawl

Bermuda Newspaper Wrapper 1951 - Devonshire South
Devonshire South

Bermuda Newspaper Wrapper 1951 - Flatts

Bermuda Newspaper Wrapper 1951 - Hamilton

Bermuda Newspaper Wrapper 1951 - Harrington Sound
Harrington Sound

Bermuda Newspaper Wrapper 1951 - Ireland Island
Ireland Island

Bermuda Newspaper Wrapper 1951 - Mangrove Bay
Mangrove Bay

Bermuda Newspaper Wrapper 1951 - Paget

Bermuda Newspaper Wrapper 1951 - Somerset Bridge
Somerset Bridge

Bermuda Newspaper Wrapper 1951 - Southampton

Bermuda Newspaper Wrapper 1951 - St Georges
St Georges

Bermuda Newspaper Wrapper 1951 - Warwick

Bermuda ¼d handstamp large  Bermuda ¼d handstamp small
Large - 1 points to R                                                                 Small - 1 points to space between R & M

There are two different settings of  the ¼d handstamp.  In the above examples  the one from Mangrove Bay is different fom the rest. The figure 1 of ¼ points to the centre of R, in all the rest the 1 points to the space between R and M; as shown in the enlarged copies.

All the items shown above are addressed to Bowie. They are considered to be Cancelled to Order (CTO) / philatelic.


Bermuda St Georges ¾d handstamp
This item is commercially addressed and therefore considered to be a genuine commercially used newspaper wrapper. The majority of the known commercially used wrappers are addressed in a similar manner

Commercially used items are valued 4 or 5 times that of CTOs

Similar items with a ¾d handstamp exist with all the above mentioned postmarks.

All these items exist with violet handstamps and with black handstamps.


Bright & Son’s Catalogue Part II, Postcards Envelopes Wrappers, 1914
Grosser Ganzsachen-Katalog, by Dr Siegfried Ascher, 1928
1950 Provisional Newspaper Wrapper, by E D Bowie, in Stamp Magazine, 10 May 1952
Higgins & Gage World Postal Stationery Catalogue, 1966/1990
The Encyclopædia of British Empire Postage Stamps Vol V North America, Robson Lowe, 1973
The Postal History and Stamps of Bermuda, by M H Ludington, 1978
1950 Provisional Newspaper Wrapper, in Bermuda Post, Issue Number 8, August 1988, Bermuda Collectors Society
Commander Eric David Bowie RN, by David Horry, in the British Caribbean Philatelic Journal No 258, January 2016

"Postal Stationery Newspaper Wrapper Catalogue", by Jan Kosniowski, published June 2019
Bermuda did not produce many newspaper wrappers and so only occupies just two and a half pages in this mammoth 1258 pages, three volume catalogue