1980 London 1980

Official First Day Cover London 1980

Date: 6th May 1980
Stamps: 25c British Airways Tristar-500 – Approaching Bermuda from West 1980; 50c SS “Orduna” Grassy Bay 1926; $1 “Delta” St. George’s Harbour 1856 and $2 “Lord Sidmouth” Old Ship Channel St. George’s 1818

1980 London 1980 signed FDC

Type: Offical First Day Cover / Presentation Cover
Cachet: London 1980 “Lord Sidmouth” 1818 Bermuda Official First Day Cover / RELEASE DATE 6th MAY 1980
Signed: Postmaster General – Compliments of The Postmaster General
Address: Alderley Edge, Cheshire, England

1980 London 1980 FDC

Type: Offical First Day Cover
Cachet: London 1980 “Lord Sidmouth” 1818 Bermuda Official First Day Cover / RELEASE DATE 6th MAY 1980

1980 London 1980 FDC

Type: Offical First Day Cover
Address: Postmaster General Bermuda



Release date: 6th May, 1980


Designer: Richard Granger Barrett, England
Printer: Harrisons & Sons (High Wycombe) Ltd., England
Process: Lithography
No. of Stamps per sheet: 50 (2 panes of 25)
Size of Stamps: 31.75mm X 48.26mm
Paper: C.A. Spiral Watermark
F.D.C. Printed by: B.C. Deere, Cardiff, Wales
Withdrawal Date: 30th May, 1981

Bermuda Philatelic Bureau, General Post Office, Hamilton 5-24, Bermuda


This stamp features the latest aircraft to carry mails to Bermuda – “British Airways” luxury Airliner, the ‘Tristar’ “500” – approaching Bermuda from the western-most end of the Bermuda Islands, before touchdown.

The mails are carried on a regular basis, almost daily via “British Airways” between London and Bermuda.

“A next day delivery” is now in effect via the exchange of the International “Data Express Mail Service” between the British and Bermuda Post Offices.

The ‘Tristar’ “500” is manufactured by “Lockheed”, is powered by 3 Rolls Royce Jet Engines, and carries 235 passengers, and averages 600 mph, making the 3,400 miles journey, Bermuda/ London, in approximately 61 hours.


The Pacific Steam Navigation Company (P.S.N.C.) Ship “Orduna” is shown lying in the “Grassy Bay Ship Anchorage”, having too deep a draft to enter the “Port of Hamilton” Bermuda and therefore had to be served by ship tenders, for the ‘taking on’ and ‘putting off’ the mail, passengers, luggage, cargo, etc., before continuing her voyage either to Liverpool or the South American Ports that she was destined – (her home port being Liverpool).

The “Orduna” was built in 1914 by Harland & Wolf Belfast and was used in both World Wars as an armed merchantman and as a troop carrier, eventually going to the ships breakers in 1951.


The “Delta” was operated by Samuel Cunard to carry mails between Halifax and Bermuda, to connect the trans-atlantic mails to or from “Liverpool” and “Halifax”, N.S.

The “Delta” was typical of one of a number of small propeller driven steamers, however, still rigged for sailing should the wind prove favourable, or for use in the event of running out of coal or mechanical failure of the engine.

Samuel Cunard provided this service between 1846-1886 – after this date, other arrangements were made for the transport of North Atlantic mails.

The “Delta” is shown lying alongside “McCallan’s Wharf” in SI. George’s Harbour, Bermuda, the first voyage was made in November 1856. The “Delta’s” end came when she was wrecked and a total loss at “Gull Island, Newfoundland”, in 1872, without the loss of life.


This stamp illustrates the “Lord Sidmouth” – a typical “Falmouth Packet” (Brig rigged) entering under shortened sail, St. George’s Harbour, Bermuda by the “Old Ship Channel”, January 1821, carrying the mails of November 1820 and the despatches for the British Naval and Military stations.

Historically in 1806, at the request of the British admiral stationed at Bermuda, the Falmouth mail packets began calling at the island during the winter months on the way to New York to land both the local and the British North American Mails (which were then sent to Halifax by naval vessel). Except for a period during the War of 1812, this practice was continued in one form or another until 1833, when the Falmouth packet stopped at Halifax and the Bermuda Mails were carried between these and the island by small sailing mail boats operated by Samuel Cunard.

The last “Falmouth Packet” (note a ‘Sailing Packet’ was a ship that advertised and sailed on a stated date) to Bermuda was the “Lyra” which left Falmouth on the 6th May via Halifax and arrived in Bermuda, 14th June, 1833.

An interesting leftover of the “Old Ship Channel” from the ‘sailing ship days’ are a number of cedar bollards (posts) on the shoreline of the surrounding Islands, which were used for warping in or out the large “Square Riggers” and “Schooners” when the weather or tide was against them.

1980 London 1980 insert front FDC 1980 London 1980 insert rev FDC

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